House Dems Ask Trump to Break Campaign Promise, Eliminate Ban on Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

By Lauretta Brown | December 20, 2016 | 3:44pm EST
(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – A group of more than 100 House Democrats sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump Monday asking that he eliminate the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape and incest, despite Trump’s campaign promise to essentially do the opposite and make the Hyde Amendment permanent law in a September letter to pro-life leaders.

The Democrats’ letter, obtained by Buzzfeed News, asked Trump to eliminate “the Hyde Amendment, as well as related abortion coverage and care restrictions from your Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget request.”

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) organized the letter, which said that “the current federal restrictions on abortion coverage and care have a far-reaching impact on women enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare; federal employees and their dependants; Peace Corps volunteers; Native American women; women in federal prisons and immigration detention center; and residents of the District of Columbia.”

The letter also asked that Trump “veto any bill that makes permanent the coverage restrictions impacting these populations or similarly denies abortion coverage or care to new populations.”

The congressmen wrote that “for too long, low-income women and women of color have shouldered the burden of our country’s restrictive reproductive health laws. Together, we ask that you send a strong signal that this will no longer be the legacy of the United States.”

“This will send a strong message to Congress and the country that everyone should be able to decide when and how to start a family—no matter their income, the type of insurance they have, or where they live,” they conclude.

Lee introduced and advocated for the EACH Woman Act last year, which would have included coverage “for abortion care in public health insurance programs including Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

“We’re in a moment we’ve never experienced before, we’ve never experienced a president or administration like this,” Lee told BuzzFeed News. “They’re trying to roll back the clock on every social issue.”

Democrats called for an end to the Hyde Amendment in their party platform this year, and Hillary Clinton advocated ending it on the campaign trail.

An October poll conducted by Politico and Harvard found that a majority of likely voters, 58 percent, opposed the use of federal funds through Medicaid to pay for abortion. A July Marist poll found that 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion - a statistic that the 2017 March for Life will highlight in January.

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