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We Must Protect Life

February 1, 2021
Weekly Columns

When our forefathers penned the Declaration of Independence that led to the establishment of our nation, they made a point to mention that all people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” including the precious right to life. Indeed, I believe there is no cause greater for any Member of Congress than defending life, especially for the most vulnerable Americans. And throughout my service in the U.S. House of Representatives, I have made this one of my top priorities.

As a member of the Pro-Life Caucus, I am very proud of my 100 percent pro-life voting record and unwavering A+ rating from the Susan B. Anthony National Pro-Life Scorecard, for consistently voting for legislation to defend the lives of unborn children. While I recognize that the issue of abortion is an emotionally charged issue in our society and many Americans have differing points of view, I will always come down firmly on the side of protecting and saving the lives of unborn children as well as defending the conscience rights of American taxpayers.  

In recent months, House Democrats have begun a misguided effort to dismantle a longstanding agreement, known as the Hyde Amendment, that protects life and prevents federal taxpayer-funded abortions. Since it was first enacted in 1976, it is estimated that this provision has saved more than two million lives. Moreover, it has been supported by lawmakers and signed into law by presidents of both parties every year as part of appropriations bills. When he was serving in the United States Senate, President Biden at the time expressed his support for inclusion of this provision. Indeed, it stabilizes the appropriations process, as many lawmakers – even those who are pro-abortion – will not vote for a bill if it does not include the Hyde Amendment.

Finally, the Hyde Amendment protects the conscience rights of the great majority of Americans who are opposed to publicly funded abortions for religious, moral or fiscal reasons. Repealing the Hyde Amendment would impose a pro-abortion-funding policy on states that have decided against it. The Hyde Amendment allows states to choose to fund elective abortions or not with state taxpayer dollars, and the people and elected representatives of 34 states have voluntarily chosen not to do so.

Gutting a provision that has been included in appropriations bills for nearly 50 years is certainly overreach from the far left. I vehemently oppose such efforts to repeal the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life provisions traditionally included in funding legislation. In response, I proudly signed a letter last week sent by 200 House Republicans to congressional leadership, pledging to oppose any federal government funding bill that would weaken or eliminate longstanding pro-life protections.

As I continue to represent the Fourth District of Oklahoma, I remain committed to being a voice for the most vulnerable, including unborn children. I will continue to stand with my Republican colleagues in defending life, whether those individuals are unborn or born.