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Catholics encouraged to sign petition to Congress on Hyde Amendment

Pres. Biden’s proposed budget doesn’t contain language to prohibit federal funding from being used to cover abortion

NEWARK, N.J. — Taxpayer-funded abortion “represents a failure to recognize the sanctity of human life and promotes a culture in which human life in its most vulnerable moment is perceived as disposable,” said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark.

A federal budget that “would eliminate” the long-standing bipartisan Hyde Amendment is a proposal that “targets poor women as needing an expedient solution to a complex problem,” he said July 6.

Cardinal Tobin made the comments in a letter to the faithful of the Newark Archdiocese following moves by President Joe Biden and members of Congress to leave the Hyde Amendment out of spending bills.

“It is crucially important that we send a strong, clear message that the Hyde Amendment has far-reaching public support and should not be repealed,” Cardinal Tobin said. “Members of Congress need to hear from as many of us as possible.”

He urged Catholics to go to www.NoTaxpayerAbortion.com and join him in signing this petition before July 16 to send “an urgent message” to Congress to keep the Hyde Amendment.

“I am deeply concerned that the proposed federal budget would eliminate the Hyde Amendment, which, for 45 years, has prohibited the use of federal funds for abortion,” he said. “The Hyde Amendment is credited with saving the lives of millions of children.

Like Cardinal Tobin, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori called on the faithful in his archdiocese July 12 to sign the online petition calling on Congress to retain Hyde.

“During this critical time, let us join in prayer for the protection of the unborn,” Archbishop Lori said. “But let us also, as citizens and believers, raise our voices to protect the most defenseless of human beings, the unborn child. Let us stand together in promoting the sanctity of life.”

Hyde first became law in 1976 to prohibit federal funds appropriated through the Labor Department, the Health and Human Services Department and related agencies from being used to cover abortion or fund health plans that cover abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman would be endangered.

Hyde has been re-enacted in spending bills every year since it was first passed.

On May 28, Biden unveiled his proposed budget of $6 trillion for fiscal year 2022 and did not include the Hyde Amendment. His proposal would include spending to improve and modernize the nation’s infrastructure, provide free pre-K and community college, and increase domestic programs aimed at boosting public health and helping the poor.

Hyde also was excluded in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act that Biden signed into law March 11. The U.S. bishops called its absence “unconscionable.”

When Biden released his proposed budget without the Hyde Amendment, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Mercy Sister Mary Haddad, Catholic Health Association’s president and CEO, issued separate statements praising his proposal for a number of provisions to help vulnerable Americans but called it remiss in leaving out Hyde, which protects the most vulnerable — the unborn.

In recent weeks, 22 attorneys general signed a joint letter to House and Senate leaders asking them to retain the Hyde Amendment in any budget measure that passes. House GOP leaders have urged Congress to make Hyde permanent.

On July 9, Students for Life of America and Students for Life Action participated in “Save Hyde” rallies alongside Democrats for Life of America in Philadelphia and in Akron, Ohio, to urge U.S. Reps. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., and Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and all Democrats to support the Hyde Amendment.

“One thing that has been consistently true about abortion policy is that people, whether self-described as pro-life or pro-choice, do not want to pay for abortion across the board,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America and Students for Life Action.

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