Five Democrats Join Bus Tour to Repeal Ban on Federal Funding of Abortion

Tatiana Lozano | August 12, 2014 | 2:16pm EDT
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The late Rep. Henry Hyde, R.-Ill. (AP Photo)

( - At least five House Democrats are participating in a nationwide “Be Bold Road Trip” this month in an effort to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the federal government from directly subsidizing abortions.

Starting August 9 in Los Angeles, the bus tour will run until mid-September and end in Washington, D.C. The 10,000-mile itinerary covers eight states and 12 cities.

As part of the bus tour, Representatives Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) will speak against the Hyde Amendment in their home states, according to the Huffington Post.

The bus tour is being sponsored by All* Above All, a reproductive rights collective, which claims that the Hyde Amendment discriminates against low-income and minority women because it prevents Medicare and state health insurance exchanges from openly funding aboions.

First attached to the federal budget in 1976 by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), the amendment states: “None of the funds appropriated under this Act shall be expended for any abortion except when it is made known to the federal entity or official to which funds are appropriated under this Act that such procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother or that the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.”

“It’s time to secure reproductive justice for all women and to stop the terrible injustice of the Hyde Amendment,” noted Stephanie Poggi, National Network of Abortion Funds’ executive director, last week. “We will continue to stand united until every woman can make her own decision based on her own circumstances, no matter what her income is.”

“Too often low-income women and young women’s access to basic health care is traded away for political expediency. The ‘Be Bold Road Trip’ is about taking to the streets and mobilizing the rising electorate to end the unnecessary political interference in women’s decision making,” added Kate Stewart, executive vice president of Advocates for Youth.

However, pro-life groups like the American Life League (ALL) and the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) said the bus tour was just an attempt to get more taxpayer dollars for abortions.

“I think this is going to be a futile effort,” said ALL’s vice-president, Jim Sedlak, in a Tuesday interview with CNSNews. “They’re going to try to get some publicity and stuff on it. But it’s really not going to affect anything, and they really don’t have the support that they think that they do.”

“There are already 15 states in the U.S. that do provide abortions through Medicaid and Medicaid funding,” Sedlak continued. “The pro-abortions have a whole host of funds set up all across the country to pay for women’s abortions. They don’t seem to have any trouble tapping into some of the most wealthy families around in getting the money to put into these funds.”

“And so it’s a red herring to say that, you know, the government should be responsible for paying for abortions,” he added. “The government should never pay to kill one of the human beings...within the country. It is ridiculous to make that kind of a claim.”

NRLC president Carol Tobias also told CNSNews that “it’s a stupid effort on their part. Anywhere from two-thirds to three-fourths of the people in this country think that abortion should not be paid for by taxpayer dollars. So, when they are trying to overturn the Hyde Amendment, what they’re saying is, ‘We want you to pay for abortions.’ And that’s just not going to work. It’s a waste of their time and energy and resources.”

“The abortion industry is targeting the babies of - as this group says - women of color. African-Americans and Latino women are being targeted,” Tobias added. “I mean, that’s where the abortion industry goes. That’s where most of their new facilities are set up.”

“African-Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but black women have 36 percent of the abortions. I mean, they are being targeted. So, now for this group to come out and say we want taxpayer dollars to be able to kill their babies, I think it’s just alarming and actually sickening.”

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