WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life Americans are breathing a sigh of relief after an attempt by Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to weaken restrictions on federal abortion funding within emergency legislation to combat the coronavirus.
Senior White House officials warned Thursday that during negotiations over an economic stimulus bill to address fallout from the virus, Pelosi pushed for the inclusion of several controversial provisions. These included a mandate to reimburse laboratory claims – independent of the requirements of the Hyde Amendment, which blocks direct financing of most abortions. One official described the proposal as a “slush fund.”
House Republicans including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized Pelosi for stalling what should be bipartisan public safety work with unrelated left-wing priorities, and called for drafting a separate proposal from scratch. President Donald Trump said he could not sign the bill as long as there were “things in there that have nothing to do with things we are talking about,” such as abortion.
A White House source subsequently informed LifeSiteNews that pro-lifers succeeded in ensuring that the Hyde Amendment would be applied to the coronavirus testing and spending bill, with U.S. House Democrats apparently conceding on that front for the time being. Pelosi and Trump later settled on a plan acceptable to both sides, and the bill passed the House Friday night.
Pro-life activists thanked the Trump administration for holding firm on the issue:
— Kristan Hawkins (@KristanHawkins) March 14, 2020
“We thank @realDonaldTrump for his unwavering #prolife leadership.” Read @marjoriesba statement on the Families First #Coronavirus Response Act which includes #HydeAmendment protections ⬇️⬇️⬇️ https://t.co/Y7dzF5Uxql pic.twitter.com/D5edt62yor
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) March 14, 2020
— Karen Feldmeyer (@karenfeldy) March 15, 2020
“While schools are closing and hospitals are gearing up, Speaker Pelosi is waging unnecessary culture wars. Speaker Pelosi should be fighting the coronavirus pandemic, not politicizing emergency funding by fighting against the bipartisan Hyde Amendment,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said of Pelosi’s effort. “We need to be ramping up our diagnostic testing, not waging culture wars at the behest of Planned Parenthood. Good grief.”