House Democrats and their witnesses at an Appropriations Committee hearing December 8 characterized the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the federal government from funding abortions, as “clearly racist.”

The Hyde Amendment prevents federal funding of abortions except “to save the life of the woman,” or in the case of incest or rape. It was passed in 1976 and was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 1980 ruling. The Hyde Amendment, which is a budget provision, has been passed every single year, no matter the party of the president or the party in control of Congress.

Chairing the hearing, Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT) said in her opening remarks that the Hyde Amendment is discriminatory, referring particularly to an alleged racist connection. DeLauro said, “More than half (58%) of the women affected by the Hyde Amendment are women of color.”

Her words were supported by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who also called the Hyde Amendment “discriminatory” against women of low income and women of color.

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) pointed out that the amendment is estimated to have saved “the lives of 2 million people since it was first adopted in 1976 — most of them people of color,” Cole added. He also noted how “the majority of the American people, including the majority of low-income women, also support the Hyde Amendment.”

Dr. Herminia Palacio, a witness at the hearing and president and CEO of the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, claimed the amendment was “clearly racist” in its impact.

The only pro-life witness, out of the four at the hearing, was Christina Maria Bennett, communications director at the Family Institute of Connecticut, who defended the Hyde Amendment from the allegations of “systemic racism” leveled against it.

While her fellow witnesses attacked the Hyde Amendment for being racist, Bennett strongly defended it: “It’s not racist to preserve black lives. Hyde protects women from an industry that is actually rooted in racism, with a documented history of eugenics philosophy, population control, and the unlawful targeting of the black community.”

Full story at LifeSiteNews.