Congress Comes out of Hiding
Doing Henry Hyde's unfinished business.


Kathryn Jean Lopez

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column is available exclusively through United Media. For permission to reprint or excerpt this copyrighted material, please contact Carmen Puello.

When it comes to the signature legislation of the current Democrat-run Washington, Nancy Pelosi and her House of Representatives have been about hiding the truth. In contrast, a House under a Speaker John Boehner would be about Hyde — Henry Hyde.

House Republicans went back to their districts at the end of July with a draft agenda for the fall campaign and priorities for a 112th Congress that they hope will be in their care. Included in it, in the health-care section, is this, a commitment to permanently prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion: “Congress should codify the Hyde Amendment and explicitly prohibit all federal funds from being used to pay for abortion.”

In a Washington where even self-identified pro-life legislators have been known to drown in the overwhelmingly manipulative spin of those who would hide abortion under a veil of “reproductive rights” or “women’s health,” it’s a groundbreaking goal. It’s also absolutely necessary. And there’s no time like the present to bring it home.

This, you see, is the August where “we told you so” wouldn’t be an inappropriate position for the Republicans in Congress who looked into the eyes of supposedly pro-life Democrats and accused them of buying into a farce.

And then came July, when the National Right to Life Committee highlighted the text of guidelines, publicly available on government websites, of the beginnings of Obamacare’s high-risk pools. Looking through five states’ documentation, the NRLC found an abortion-funding alarm going off in three of them: Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Mexico. The NRLC and others complained, and the Department of Health and Human Services was pressured into issuing a regulation prohibiting abortion funding in these state programs.

“All of us now know — as many of us knew then — that those claims were lies. Not errors. They were lies!” One can almost hear the voice of the late Illinois congressman Henry Hyde back in 1997 on the floor of Congress during the partial-birth-abortion debate echoing again today, as the veils of lies about abortion from the health-care debate of earlier this year are lifted.

The Obamacare abortion lie is now officially up. And if you doubt what I say, just pay attention to the noise coming out of the abortion industry and its advocates and lobbyists. Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America: “This decision has no basis in the law and flies in the face of the intent of the high-risk pools that were meant to meet the medical needs of some of the most vulnerable women in this country.”

She has a point. There is no across-the-board universal law that prohibits domestic abortion funding with federal taxpayer dollars. Despite repeated claims by Nancy Pelosi, Robert Gibbs, and others, the Hyde Amendment never applied to the health-care bill. The Hyde Amendment has only ever applied to money appropriated annually through the HHS appropriations bill. It is also subject to an annual congressional fight. And the Cecile Richardses of the world knew that.


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