Last week, the country celebrated 40 years of the Hyde Amendment being in effect. This vital piece of legislation outlaws taxpayer dollars from being used to fund elective abortions through Medicaid. It not only protects the rights of the innocent unborn, but also advances the cause of human freedom, extends the inalienable rights enshrined in our Declaration of Independence to all human beings and preserves religious liberty.
It was a great honor for me to have served with Henry Hyde in the last years of his noble, selfless service in the United States Congress. One of the most vocal and persistent opponents of abortion during his time in Congress, he wholeheartedly believed every unborn life is a gift from God and should be cherished as such.
Before the Hyde Amendment, the federal government spent about $50 million of taxpayer money annually between 1973 and 1977 to pay for approximately 300,000 abortions per year under Medicaid. Those tax dollars came from many who believed with all of their hearts that killing a child, even in the womb, was murder and did not want their hard earned money supporting such a practice. It is estimated that 2 million precious lives have been saved by this provision being added to the spending bill Congress must pass each year. In fact, 60,000 lives are preserved in the United States every year because of this effective measure.
As a father who has held a beautiful, prematurely born daughter in the palm of my hand and felt her tiny little hand grasp the end of my finger and literally hold on for dear life, it is heart breaking beyond words to think of anyone wanting to destroy such a child at the same age from conception.
The Hyde Amendment has always protected people of conscience. It was not until the Obama administration that elected leaders of the United States sought to compel people of faith to pay for things that violated their strongly held religious beliefs. Federal tax dollars forcibly collected from people whose faith teaches that abortion is murder should not be used to pay for abortions.
We have witnessed this administration turn a blind-eye and even defend the many heinous atrocities that were actually captured on video tape at Planned Parenthood. Their practices, as evidenced by undercover videos, are not only grotesque, but they shock the conscience of anyone whose sees a child as a gift of God.
Although it is my prayer that one day we will cut the abortion industry off from all sources of taxpayer funding, it is absolutely vital that this measure remains fully preserved.
This past month we had a hearing on a potential law that would prohibit anyone from killing a child who was the victim of an attempted abortion but was still born alive. The immorality of this administration was given a bright dose of sunlight as it opposed allowing a child to live even when born alive, if it was intended to be killed during an abortion. Just as President Obama opposed such a measure as a state senator, he opposed making it a law while he is President.
All children are endowed by their Creator with the unalienable right to life and should have the opportunity to grow. I am grateful to have served in Congress with Henry Hyde, and thrilled that he made his life count in the protection of so very many precious children who have been born and allowed to exercise their Creator-endowed right to live because of his work.
Congressman Gohmert is the Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, he was elected to three terms as State District Judge in Smith County.