House Democrats failed to garner enough support Monday for a measure to force American taxpayers to pay for abortions.
The Washington Examiner reports the amendment came from a group of progressive Democrats who want to remove the Hyde Amendment from a Congressional spending bill. The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions in Medicaid.
The Democrats pushing the measure were U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, Barbara Lee, of California, Pramila Jayapal, of Washington, Diana DeGette, of Colorado, and Jan Schakowsky, of Illinois, according to Splinter.
â€œLook, I think that we all understand that the Hyde Amendment is a â€¦ politically difficult issue, and we need to do a little bit more work to really make sure that everybody understands that without the ability to control choices for our own bodies, it is an economic justice issue,â€� Jayapal told Roll Call.
Forcing taxpayers to fund abortions is a new goal of the Democratic Party, but most Americans do not support it. Even though Democrats control the U.S. House, the leaders apparently thought the amendment would be a losing issue among their constituents.
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The amendment would have allowed abortion funding as part of a $190 billion Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill, according to the report.
On Monday, however, the House Rules Committee rejected the amendment as it moved the bill forward, The Hill reports.
Massachusetts Congresswoman Katherine Clark, vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said she wants to see tax dollars fund abortions, but the support is not there, according to the report.
Repealing the Hyde Amendment â€œwould become a focal point that could collapse everything in the Labor-H bill that is so good for American families,â€� Clark said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a similar comment Tuesday when asked about the measure.
â€œIt is the law of the land right now, and I don’t see that there’s an opportunity to get rid of it with the current occupant of the White House and this U.S. Senate,â€� she said, The Hill reports.
Calls for taxpayer-funded abortions are growing. Earlier this week, Joe Biden said he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment. If elected president, he would try to force taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies.
The Hyde Amendment is a four-decades-old measure that historically has had strong bipartisan support. Biden himself supported it for many years, as did many other Democrats. However, the new Democratic Party platform calls for the amendment to be repealed, and the leading Democrats running for president support that platform.
However, polls indicate that most Americans do not want their tax dollars to fund the killing of unborn babies. In 2016, when Hillary Clinton campaigned on the same issue, a Harvard University poll found that 36 percent of likely voters support overturning the Hyde Amendment.
Interestingly, the poll also found that voters who make more than $75,000 were more supportive of forcing taxpayers to fund abortions (45 percent in favor), while those who make $25,000 or less were strongly against it (24 percent in favor). In other words, the people most likely to qualify for a Medicaid-covered, taxpayer-funded abortion are the ones who oppose it the most.
A January poll by Marist University found similarly strong opposition, with 75 percent saying they oppose taxpayer-funded abortions and 19 percent support it.