GOP AG's in 22 States Say Anti-Abortion Americans Have 'Nowhere' to Go Under Biden Budget

Twenty-two Republican state Attorneys General are blasting the Biden administration on "moral, religious and fiscal" grounds because the 2022 budget proposal omits the Hyde Amendment—a 1976 measure which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion services.

State attorneys general are going on the offensive this week over the Biden administration's "conspicuous omission of the Hyde Amendment" from the 2022 fiscal year budget proposal. Twenty-two AG's have penned cautionary op-eds and sent a joint letter to Congress Monday which urges them to reject President Joe Biden's "abrupt reversal" toward the Hyde Amendment. The GOP AG's argue that while the Supreme Court has previously ruled women have a constitutional right to an abortion, they say "this 'right' is not a taxpayer-backed guarantee."

Republican AG's cited the national debt, "moral objections" and even increased technology for pregnant mothers as reasons to prevent any federal funding for abortion procedures. The letter describes abortion access as "wasteful spending."

GOP State AG's including Texas' Ken Paxton, Alabama's Steve Marshall and Florida's Ashley Moody all signed on to the Monday letter which calls for reinstatement of the Hyde Amendment and claims that anti-abortion Americans will have "nowhere" to go should Biden's budget pass.

"If state taxpayers disagree with the services that their tax dollars pay for, they can 'vote with their feet' and move to a state with lower taxes or one that prioritizes spending differently," reads the letter to congressional leaders, which was co-signed by 22 Republican attorneys general.

"But because one cannot move to avoid federal taxes, there would be nowhere for a pro-life, or even a moderately pro-choice, American to go to avoid violating the moral or religious conviction that their hard-earned dollars not be used to fund abortions," the GOP AG's wrote.

The Hyde Amendment, which President Joe Biden publicly supported as recently as June 2019, says federal funds including Medicaid can only be used for abortion services in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of a woman. Biden was lauded by Planned Parenthood and abortion rights groups for walking back his decades-long support of the measure during his 2020 presidential campaign.

Reproductive rights groups have long accused the Hyde Amendment of being a discriminatory policy which hurts minority women, and low-income women on Medicaid.

The Republican AG's letter characterized the Hyde Amendment a longtime bipartisan guarantee which has been passed by seven presidents, three Democrats and four Republicans, since being passed as a temporary "rider" in 1976—three years after Roe v. Wade.

The letter cites at least one 2021 abortion survey which portrayed a majority of Americans as opposing access to abortion, but numerous other recent polls show public support has shifted dramatically in favor of supporting abortion rights.

State AG's have written blistering op-eds in publications across the country which have warned of ethical, fiscal, and religious consequences if Biden fails to reinstate the Hyde Amendment. Mississippi AG Lynn Fitch penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week which said technology has improved an unborn child's viability enough that abortion is increasingly becoming immoral. And Tennessee AG Herbert H. Slatery III issued a statement Monday which said Biden is eliminating 45 years of bipartisan "common ground."

"Prohibiting the federal funding of most abortions is what both Democrats and Republicans have supported for decades and should not be changed," Slatery wrote.

Newsweek reached out to several GOP attorneys general for additional remarks about their opposition to the Biden budget proposal and the Hyde Amendment.

anti-abortion protest republicans
Pro-life protesters stand near the gate of the Texas state capitol at a protest outside the Texas state capitol on May 29 in Austin, Texas. Thousands of protesters came out in response to a new bill outlawing abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbot. SERGIO FLORES / Stringer/Getty Images