The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 3, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Sunday, March, 3, 2013

— No Hyde Amendment applied to ObamaCare

In his letter, Randy Crawford claimed that “the Hyde amendment was also applied to the Affordable Care Act” (ACA). One can apply Crawford’s own phrase to this mistaken assertion: “This is a complete falsehood.”

Crawford conveniently forgets that a group of pro-life Democratic congressmen refused to consent to the ACA legislation precisely because it did not contain a Hyde Amendment-type provision. To remedy that deficiency, Congressmen Stupak, D-Mich., and Pitts, R-Pa., got the House to accept the Stupak-Pitts amendment which adds Hyde Amendment-type language to the ACA. The Senate, unfortunately, rejected the Stupak-Pitts amendment, and the final ACA does not contain it. (The Senate also rejected the Nelson-Hatch amendment with wording similar to the Stupak-Pitts amendment.)

The revolt of the Democratic “Stupak group” mostly collapsed under the intense pressure by then-Speaker Pelosi and the White House. Some of these pro-life Democrats lost their re-election bid; others retired.

In a new attempt, Congressmen Pitts and Lipinski, D-Ill., introduced the Protect Life Act, which prohibited the use of any ACA-authorized funds for abortions or to subsidize health plans that cover abortions, except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest. The House accepted this Hyde Amendment-type language in October 2011. But the White House threatened a veto, and the Senate ignored the Protect Life Act.

So the fact is that the Affordable Care Act (or ObamaCare, as it is popularly known) is not covered by anything like the Hyde Amendment, and any attempts to add Hyde Amendment-type language to the law have been defeated by the Democratic Senate leadership and the White House.

In the meantime, HHS has issued ObamaCare regulations for (1) health insurance premium support, including for plans that cover abortions; (2) requirements for all employers to provide birth control coverage, including methods that produce early abortions; and (3) a mandatory monthly surcharge of $1 for abortion coverage.

Hilda Shorter


Raleigh County Chapter Right to Life