Pro-Abortion Leader Compares Hyde Amendment Restrictions on Taxpayer-Funded Abortion to Slavery: ‘Set Us Free’

By Lauretta Brown | September 23, 2016 | 1:51pm EDT
(AP Photo)

( – Kierra Johnson, executive director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, testified Friday before the House Judiciary Committee examining the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape and incest, and compared the amendment to slavery, saying that repealing the Hyde Amendment is about “setting us (women) free.”  

Johnson responded to a question on the impact of the Hyde amendment on low-income women, referencing an earlier comment from Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) in which he compared the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision to abortion, saying, “It’s interesting that we’re bringing up slavery in this space. When you own somebody’s decision-making, you own them.”

“The Hyde amendment is about increasing coverage of insurance,” she argued. “It is about returning decision-making back to women. It’s about setting us free.

“When you get to decide for them whether or not their body has value, you own them whether you decide they’re valuable as black or not, you actually don’t get to make that decision,” Johnson emphasized.

“We are valuable, and women are valuable. The Hyde amendment simply says set us free,” she said. “We are not simple-minded. We are not being duped. Women are choosing to be pregnant and have children. The majority of women who have abortions are parents. They care, they care about their families.”

“We should repeal the Hyde Amendment,” she concluded.

Arina Grossu, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, also invoked the idea of human value in her comments following Johnson’s remarks.

Grossu pointed out that in the case of a newborn child, “that child’s value is dependent on another person’s opinion of that child, so if the woman wants her child, that baby’s going to be given the absolute best care that our medical communities have, and if that woman deems that she does not want that child, that child is thrown in the trash.”

Grossu advocated for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, which would “prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”

“We are asking under this Born Alive bill that abortionists be required to give basic immediate care once that baby has taken his or her first breath,” she said. “These are children who are outside of the vaginal canal. They are recognized as legal persons under our laws, and they should be protected.”

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