Pro-Life Evangelicals Who Supported Biden Feel Betrayed Over COVID Relief Bill's Exclusion Of Hyde Amendment
By Olivia Cavallaro
Members of the Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden coalition has expressed their deep concern for the new COVID relief bill, which not only excludes the Hyde Amendment, but further supports abortion providers through funding.
According to CBN News, the coalition feels "betrayed" by the Biden administration after the newly passed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act or HR. 1319 was passed by the Democratic-controlled House.
The COVID relief bill is a series of relief measures that were enacted back in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Back then, the Republican-controlled Senate and former President Trump ensured that the 2020 legislation "included protections against federal funding of abortion," Kentucky Today reported.
In contrast, the new COVID relief bill that was approved by the House does not include the Hyde Amendment safeguards, meaning that about $414 billion or more in federal funds will most likely be allotted to "elective abortions or health insurance that covers elective abortions."
"As pro-life leaders in the evangelical community, we publicly supported President Biden's candidacy with the understanding that there would be engagement with us on the issue of abortion and particularly the Hyde Amendment," a statement from the Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden coalition read.
"The Biden team wanted to talk to us during the campaign to gain our support, and we gave it on the condition there would be active dialogue and common ground solutions on the issue of abortion. There has been no dialogue since the campaign."
Dr. Richard Mouw, President Emeritus at Fuller Theological Seminary and spokesman for the coalition of pro-life evangelicals who supported Biden explained that the group is pushing for "some restrictions" for legal abortion and to not lose the existing restrictions already being applied.
He said that the group feels "betrayed" especially when "there was no sense of accountability to evangelicals and Catholics who took a lot of risks in saying publicly that they were going to vote for Mr. Biden."
Mouw was critical of President Biden's silence on the exclusion of the Hyde Amendment in the COVID relief bill. He said that the group of pro-life evangelicals who supported Biden were upset that there was no "heads up" about the exclusion of the Hyde Amendment in the COVID relief bill which Mouw says is "a boundary that we don't want to cross." Mouw is convinced that there is an "extreme wing within the Democratic Party is really determining the agenda."
The pro-life evangelicals who supported Biden aren't the only ones who are criticizing the COVID relief bill with the exclusion of Hyde Amendment. According to WMC 5, Mississippi Republican Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker both decried the Senate's decision to exclude the Hyde Amendment in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act or HR. 1319. Sen. Wicker opposed the legislation, calling the COVID relief bill a measure that is "full of unnecessary spending that will overheat the economy at a time when infections are dropping nationwide."
Sen. Wicker pointed out that the COVID relief bill with the exclusion of the Hyde Amendment is highly questionable because less than 10% of the budget would actually go to "immediate COVID-19 needs." He expressed his strong opposition to the legislation, which did not earn any "yes" votes from any Republican senator.
Meanwhile, Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines took to Twitter to express his disgust over the exclusion of Hyde Amendment in the COVID relief bill, which is also being targeted by the pro-life evangelicals who supported Biden.
Sen. Daines tweeted that the exclusion of Hyde Amendment in the COVID relief bill is "shameful," saying that "Senate Democrats voted to allow billions of taxpayer dollars to be used to fund abortions. They voted against applying a 44 year protection called the Hyde amendment-one that was included in all five previous bipartisan COVID packages."