Photo credit: Ron Cogswell (CC-By-2.0)

A group of 67 national and state pro-life groups on Tuesday sent a letter to members of Congress warning them not to pass any spending bill that includes cost-sharing reduction payments without Hyde Amendment protection.

The Hyde Amendment, named after the late Republican Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois, first passed in 1976 barred federal funding for abortion with the exception of saving the life of the mother, and in the case of pregnancies that arise from rape or incest. One the pro-life criticisms of Obamacare was that it allowed federal funding of abortion through cost-sharing reduction payments for insurance plans that include abortion coverage.

Spearheaded by Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) and signed by SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, National Right to Life President Carol Tobias, March for Life Education and Defense Fund President Jeanne Mancini, Concerned Women for America President and CEO Penny Young Nance, Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins, and more than 60 other pro-life leaders, the letter reads, in part:

We are strongly opposed to Obamacare stabilization funding unless amended so such funds cannot be used for plans that include elective abortion. In addition, we will oppose any larger legislative package that includes stabilization funds for abortion-covering plans. …Any Member voting for the Alexander-Murray proposal, or other Obamacare stabilization legislation not covered by the Hyde amendment, would not only be voting to sustain what many have called the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade, but would also be voting to directly appropriate taxpayer dollars for insurance that includes elective abortion.

Currently, no Republican bill offers such language.

According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the Hyde Amendment has saved over 2 million lives since 1976, when it was first enacted to prevent Medicaid funding for abortion.

SBA List previously opposed the Alexander-Murray proposal, which Congress is reportedly considering including in upcoming must-pass spending legislation.

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