(CNSNews.com) - A Democrat move to scrap the Hyde Amendment, which bars taxpayer funding of abortion, is "an issue of health of many women in America, especially those in lower income situations and in different states," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told a news conference on Thursday.
"And it is something that's been a priority for many of us for a long time," she said.
Pelosi said as a "devout Catholic...I feel that God blessed my husband and me with our beautiful family, five children in six years, almost to the day. But that may not be what we should -- it's not up to me to dictate that that's what other people should do. And it's an issue of fairness and justice for poorer women in our country."
The House Appropriations Committee last week approved the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill -- omitting the Hyde Amendment for the first time in 45 years.
The Hyde Amendment, which became law in 1976, bars the use of Medicaid funds to pay for abortion except to save the mother's life or in cases of incest or rape.
Committee member Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who introduced the Hyde Amendment this year, said repeal of the "longstanding, bipartisan" measure is an "outrageous move" that "doesn't reflect the views held by the majority of Americans who oppose publicly-funded abortions."
Cole said the bill will never become law without the Hyde Amendment included. "Democrats in Congress simply do not have the majorities capable of passing this bill without Republican votes," he said.