Repealing the Hyde Amendment Dismantles the Pro-Choice Argument

Repealing the Hyde Amendment Dismantles the Pro-Choice Argument September 12, 2016

For pro-life Democrats, there’s a lot to be happy about in the latest draft of the Democratic Platform.

So far, we’ve seen language that supports raising the minimum wage, providing a public option for healthcare, paid family and medical leave, and abolishing the death penalty. All of these are great steps towards increasing and sustaining the quality of life in our country.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of discouraging language for the pro-life Democrats, primarily the stupid, pointless proposal to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

For those that might be unaware, the Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds (i.e. tax payer money) to pay for abortions except in the cases of incest, rape, or where the life of the mother is in danger.

It’s a law that has received widespread, bipartisan support for years. It was a key component to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and it serves as a meager compromise to those opposed to the act of abortion: if it must be legal, at least don’t make us pay for it.

Now, for all her talk about abortion, Clinton is straight up pro when it comes to politics. And if I were a betting man, I’d be willing to money on the fact that she recognizes good and well and repealing the Hyde Amendment is a pretty bad move, politically speaking. At the same time, her V.P. pick, Tim Kaine, reiterated his support for keeping the Hyde Amendment back in August. So I do have some hope that most of this is just talk.

That said there are plenty of people within the Democratic Party, especially those to the left of Clinton and Kaine, that support this measure. And so in response, I want to talk about how doing away with the Hyde Amendment discredits everything that abortion rights advocates stand for.

The most widely accepted defense for the legality of abortion is choice. A woman should have the right to choose what to do with her own body. The decision to have an abortion is hers and hers alone, no one else’s.

Right? Anyone disagree with this? I mean, this IS why proponents prefer the term “pro-choice” instead of “pro-abortion”, correct? This IS the sentiment expressed on Clinton’s website, isn’t it?

Women’s personal health decisions should be made by a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor. —, Issues, Women’s Rights

Choice is quite literally the crux of the abortion argument, and by making it so, you extend the right of choice to both sides of the debate. As the popular saying goes, If you don’t agree with abortion, don’t have one.”

However, repealing the Hyde Amendment changes the whole conversation. It adjusts the mantra to say, If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. But you’re going to have to pay for mine. At which point it’s no longer truly about choice.

I realize that some abortion activists want to squash this debate once and for all. They want everyone to accept abortion as a moral good that brings nothing but freedom and empowerment to women. Unfortunately for them, abortion is, by and large, the most divisive issue in our country today, and things aren’t going to change any time soon.

For those of us in the pro-life camp, abortion isn’t about reproductive rights or body autonomy; it’s not about ignorance or backwards thinking. It’s about life and death. We see a heart beating at 10 weeks and recognize that life in the womb is uniquely human, sacred, and something to be preserved and protected. That’s not something you “evolve” on; it’s something you dedicate your life to fighting for.

Choice is a two way street, plain and simple. And I desperately urge the Democratic Party to recognize this fact.

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