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What is the Hyde Amendment?

Back in 1976, a freshman legislator from Illinois named Henry Hyde offered up a simple proposal: while abortion had tragically just been imposed on our country by the Supreme Court, taxpayers should not be forced to pay for it.

It took a bipartisan coalition of pro-life Democrats and pro-life Republicans, pushing back against a hostile media, but he won.

Congress passed the Hyde Amendment in 1976. But it did not go into effect until the Supreme Court finally upheld it as constitutional in 1980. Since that time, control of the House and Senate has changed hands several times and we have had seven different presidents -four Republican and three Democrat.

Yet for now, the Hyde Amendment endures — despite an ever-aggressive push by the abortion lobby.

Henry Hyde died in 2007, but his legacy lives on. Some estimates suggest his simple amendment has saved two million children from abortion.

Hyde’s most famous quote has also endured:

“When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God and a terror will rip through your soul like nothing you can imagine.

“But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there will be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement.

“They will say to God, ‘Spare him because he loved us,’ and God will look at you and say not, ‘Did you succeed?’ but ‘Did you try?’”

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