Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks is leading 200 of his GOP colleagues in pledging support for the Hyde Amendment as President Joe Biden continues to take aim at pro-life legislation.
The Republican congressmen sent a letter to congressional leaders on Tuesday pledging to oppose any legislation eliminating or weakening the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortions.
Biden has repeatedly promised to repeal the amendment.
“Conservative Republicans are sending a strong statement to congressional leaders: We will not stand idle as radical Democrats work to end the ban on taxpayer-funded abortions,” Banks told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“I pray this show of solidarity will save the Hyde Amendment and save thousands of innocent lives.”
The letter describes Democratic attacks on pro-life legislation as a “pro-abortion crusade” and notes that protections like the Hyde Amendment are “long-standing, bipartisan” measures preventing the U.S. government from using American taxpayer dollars for abortions.
“Repealing these pro-life provisions would destroy nearly half a century of bipartisan consensus,” the letter said.
“Each year since 1976, Congress has included Hyde protections in annually enacted appropriations. No president in American history has ever vetoed an appropriations bill due to its inclusion of the Hyde Amendment.”
Biden supported the Hyde Amendment up until June 2019.
At the time, presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, along with former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and then-Sen. Kamala Harris, had pledged to repeal the Hyde Amendment should they become president in 2020.
Biden’s campaign confirmed to NBC News on June 5, 2019, that though he supported Roe v. Wade, he still supported Hyde. The statement prompted strong backlash from pro-abortion groups, left-wing activists and fellow Democratic candidates.
Within 24 hours of affirming his support for Hyde, Biden announced on June 6, 2019, that he could no longer support the amendment.
Vice President Kamala Harris criticized Biden for his flip on Hyde during the July Democratic presidential primary debate.
“Why did it take you so long to change your position on the Hyde Amendment?” Harris asked Biden. “Why did it take so long until you were running for president to change your position on the Hyde Amendment?”
Biden, who was inaugurated last week, marked the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Friday by promising to codify the ruling in law.
Biden will also revoke the Mexico City policy, which prevents federal funds from going to abortions abroad.
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