WHEREAS, since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has been a bipartisan provision adopted annually by the United States Congress, and signed into law by presidents of both parties, that prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions in almost all programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, most notably in the Medicaid program; and
WHEREAS, this life-saving provision was first introduced by U.S. Representative Henry Hyde of Illinois who served 32 years in the House of Representatives and was a member of Father McDonald Council No. 1191 for more than half a century; and
WHEREAS, the Hyde Amendment has formed the foundation of other legal provisions throughout federal and state law that prohibit public funding of abortion in the United States; and
WHEREAS, since its enactment, the Hyde Amendment can be credited with saving the lives of more than 2.4 million children; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Harris v. McRae, that the Hyde Amendment places no obstacle to women seeking abortion but rather encourages alternative activity deemed in the public interest such as adoption; and
WHEREAS, in recent years abortion activists have sought to pressure lawmakers and political parties to oppose renewal of the Hyde Amendment; and
WHEREAS, despite positive regulatory efforts to mitigate the issue, the spirit of the Hyde Amendment has been violated by the Affordable Care Act, which allows for federal funding of abortion in various ways and forces conscientiously opposed citizens to fund abortion through their health care premiums; and
WHEREAS, according to a Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll conducted in 2021, 78% of Americans want substantial restrictions on abortion and a solid majority oppose taxpayer funding for abortion; and
WHEREAS, Pope Francis has made clear that all new lives conceived “are children of the entire community, and their being killed in large numbers with the backing of the state constitutes a grave problem…”; and
WHEREAS, for more than four decades, the Knights of Columbus has consistently worked for and supported the Hyde Amendment as well as other legislative and regulatory provisions that restrict taxpayer funding for abortion such as the Helms Amendment and Mexico City Policy; and
WHEREAS, given recent legislative efforts to exclude the Hyde Amendment and similar protections from federal appropriations legislation, brother Knights were encouraged to contact their elected representatives to voice support for such provisions while the Supreme Knight sent a letter to all Members of the United States House of Representatives asking that they preserve the Hyde Amendment and enact legislation that would permanently prohibit the use of taxpayer funding of abortion; and
WHEREAS, contrary to the majority view of the American people, the House of Representatives passed the 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act after rejecting attempts to include the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life protections.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus remains strongly committed to the Hyde Amendment and to the long-term bipartisan practice of prohibiting the public funding of abortion; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we will speak to our elected representatives about the need to protect provisions that prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortion; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call on the United States Congress to pass H.R. 18, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, which would codify Hyde Amendment-style protections throughout the federal government, including in programs established by the Affordable Care Act; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that through these actions we recommit ourselves to creating a more just society where every human life is welcomed and given the full protection of the law.