MEMORANDUM
DATE:

TO:     


FROM:   

RE:   
July 30, 2021

Diocesan Pro-Life Directors
State Catholic Conference Directors

Greg Schleppenbach, Associate Director

Recent Hyde votes in the U.S. House of Representatives
Dear Director:

This week, members of the U.S. House of Representatives cast three key votes related to the Hyde Amendment and other critical pro-life protections.

On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 212 to pass H.R. 4373, the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) appropriations bill. H.R. 4373 expands taxpayer funding of abortion by excluding the Helms Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion as part of foreign assistance.

On Thursday, the House rejected a “motion to recommit” that would have restored the Hyde Amendment and other longstanding pro-life policies to H.R. 4502, another package of appropriations bills. The motion to restore pro-life protections failed by a vote of 208 – 217.

Also on Thursday, the House voted 219 to 208 to pass H.R. 4502 without the 46-year-old Hyde Amendment and other longstanding, bipartisan provisions like the Weldon Amendment.

Eliminating these provisions would force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions and would have the effect of forcing health care providers and professionals to perform and refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as forcing employers and insurers to cover and pay for abortion.

With the exception of three Democrats who voted against H.R. 4373 for reasons unrelated to the Helms Amendment, all House Democrats present rejected the addition of pro-life protections and voted to advance the appropriations bills without the Hyde Amendment, Helms Amendment, and other pro-life protections included. To see how your members of Congress voted, click on each of the vote links above.

These two pieces of legislation now advance to the Senate for further consideration. We expect that the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold markups on several of their own draft appropriations bills before any bills go to the Senate floor.

In light of these developments, we ask you to:

  1. Contact your members of Congress to express your disagreement if he or she voted to advance these bills without pro-life protections.
  2. Write your senators in support of the Hyde Amendment if you have not done so already (A sample letter to senators can be found here.)
  3. Continue promoting the USCCB’s petition in support of the Hyde Amendment at NoTaxpayerAbortion.com.

USCCB will issue additional action alerts and updates as consideration of these bills in the Senate moves forward.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter and for all you do to promote a culture of life.

God bless you!

Greg
Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities | prolife@usccb.org | www.usccb.org/prolife