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WASHINGTON, May 31, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Joe Biden released a proposed 2022 fiscal budget on Friday without the Hyde Amendment, opening the door to federal taxpayer funding of abortion.

The Hyde Amendment, first passed in 1976, is a measure attached to spending bills that prohibits federal funding for most abortions. The policy has been enacted every year for decades and is estimated to save around 60,000 babies annually.

Biden’s $6 trillion budget announced on Friday includes a $133 billion request from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lacking Hyde protections, the Daily Wire reported. HHS is overseen by pro-abortion Biden nominee Xavier Beccera.

Joe Biden, a self-professed “Catholic,” previously supported the policy as a U.S. senator, before changing his stance in 2019 after pressure from abortion activists and Planned Parenthood.

“As recently as 2006, then-Senator Biden was on the record opposing tax funding of abortion, saying, ‘I do not vote for funding for abortion … I won’t support public funding,’” a recent letter signed by more than 60 pro-life advocates, including the Susan B. Anthony List, said. “Yet when on the presidential campaign trail in 2019, he flip-flopped to support abortion funding, directly contradicting his longstanding position.”

“For more than four decades, the Hyde family of pro-life policies has kept American taxpayers out of the abortion business, with the Hyde Amendment itself saving nearly 2.5 million lives,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement on Friday. “The Biden budget throws that longstanding, bipartisan consensus out the window to fulfill a campaign promise to the radical abortion lobby.” Dannenfelser noted that polling shows that the vast majority of Americans do not support taxpayer-funded abortion.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chairman of the pro-life committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USSCB) also reacted on Friday, saying that the proposed Biden budget would fund “despair and death.”

“Taxpayer-funded abortion represents a failure to serve women in their maternity by funding despair and death instead of hope and life,” he said. “No member of our great nation is weaker, more vulnerable, or less protected, than the child in the womb.”

The Biden administration’s anti-life budget can be rejected by Congress, where Republicans and Democrats each control 50 Senate seats. Pro-life activists have expressed hopes that swing votes in the Senate may not approve the White House’s attempt to force Americans to pay for abortion, according to Catholic News Agency.

The COVID-19 relief package authorized by the Biden administration last month already has been flagged for hundreds of billions of dollars of spending that could be used to fund abortion.