Democrats negotiating over Biden’s agenda face another hurdle: federal funding for abortions
The cost of the bill containing President Biden’s social safety net program is not the only flashpoint in negotiations between moderate and progressive Democrats: disagreement has emerged over whether a ban on the federal funding of abortions – shorthanded in Congress as the– should be included in the bill.
Senator Joe Manchin, whose yes is crucial for the passage of the bill, called on the, says he won’t support the legislation without the Hyde Amendment, and some Progressive Democrats say they won’t vote for the bill if the amendment is in it.
The ban, named after opponent of abortion rights, Henry Hyde, representative of the GOP, first passed in 1976, prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. It is added to legislation that deals with federal spending on women’s health, primarily provisions involving Medicaid.
In the Build Back Better Act, the debate over including the Hyde Amendment applies to expanding health care coverage, similar to Medicaid, in the 12 states that did not choose to expand. Medicaid after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Most Democratic lawmakers want to eliminate the Hyde Amendment in the Build Back Better Act, so its expansion of health care coverage for poorer Americans omits it.
Last week, Manchin, who identifies as “pro-life,” told the National Review that the social safety net bill was “dead when it came” to the Senate without the provision. But progressive caucus chair Pramila Jayapal, whose threats have succeeded infor receiving a vote in the House last week, told CNN on Sunday that she would not vote for a bill containing the Hyde Amendment. Jayapal said the Hyde Amendment is something that “the majority of the country does not support.”
A January poll by Marist and the Knights of Columbus found that 58% of Americans say they oppose taxpayer funding for abortion, while 38% support it, although there is no have no in-depth polls on the Hyde Amendment.
Mr. Biden, a Catholic, supported the Hyde Amendment, but heduring his presidential campaign. His change of mind follows criticism from other Democrats and top contenders. Then-candidate Biden said he had already supported the amendment because he didn’t believe women’s rights were under attack, but “circumstances have changed.”
There has been more interest in the abortion law in recent months; in part because in December, the Supreme Court, which now has a 6-3 Conservative majority, will hear the largest abortion rights challenge in 30 years, the offer fromenforce a law banning abortions after 15 weeks. In May, Mississippi officials asked the High Court to overturn Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, arguing that they were “blatantly wrong” and “turned out to be hopelessly impractical”.
A newhas also sparked controversy, banning abortions after about six weeks and allowing citizens to sue anyone they believe aided in the process of an illegal abortion. The Justice Department is seeking an emergency order to block Texas law.