The Big Idea is a series that asks top lawmakers and figures to discuss their moonshot — what’s the one proposal, if politics and polls and even price tag were not an issue, they’d implement to change the country for the better?  

With narrow margins in both the House and the Senate, and President-elect Biden set to take office on Jan. 20, Democrats in Congress are setting their sights on the Hyde Amendment, a federal ban on taxpayer money directly financing abortion. 

But Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, says he'll fight to protect what he sees as a major "compromise" between those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice in a divided country. 

Proponents of the Hyde Amendment say it keeps people who have moral objections to abortion from financing the procedures through their tax money. Opponents of the Hyde Amendment say it is unfair to poor women who can't pay for abortions out of their own pockets. 

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, told Fox News that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President-elect Biden supporting the repeal of the Hyde Amendment makes him want to "weep." (Warren Davidson)

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, told Fox News that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President-elect Biden supporting the repeal of the Hyde Amendment makes him want to "weep." (Warren Davidson)

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In recent years the tide has turned against the law, which has long been supported by those on both sides of the aisle — the 2020 and 2016 Democratic Platforms aimed to repeal the Hyde Amendment after the party was silent on the matter for years. As recently as 2004 the Democratic Platform said abortion should be "safe, legal and rare."

Biden himself changed his long-held stance on the Hyde Amendment in June 2019, just ahead of the Democratic primary debates. 

"I myself have been an opponent of the Hyde Amendment long before I came to Congress so I would be receptive to that happening," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently said. 

"It is an issue in terms of the impact that it has in terms of unfairness to women in our country," Pelosi continued. "It's long overdue getting rid of it."

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., the incoming chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, also recently declared that she hopes to get rid of the Hyde Amendment in the next Congress.

Davidson, meanwhile, maintains his support for the Hyde Amendment even as momentum on Capitol Hill shifts against it. 

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Davidson discussed his big idea with Fox News. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity. 

Why are you pro-life? 

Davidson: Personally, I'm pro-life. First and foremost, my faith says that life is created by God. You know, it's a divine gift. People are knitted together in the womb by God. It's a sovereign act of God to create human life. And every life should be respected.

But I think science shows that, too. I think the great thing is we've gotten better with technology, with ultrasounds. You can see from the earliest stages how this life from conception continues to grow and is, yes, inside a mother's womb. But as a separate individual human being. And just for people to say trust the science, I think you have to say that is a separate and distinct individual — very dependent upon mother, but a life that must be respected.

Why do you support the Hyde Amendment? 

Davidson: The Hyde Amendment really says that no federal tax dollars can go directly to fund abortion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi waits during votes during the first session of the 117th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Pelosi said in December that she wants to overturn the Hyde Amendment. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi waits during votes during the first session of the 117th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Pelosi said in December that she wants to overturn the Hyde Amendment. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP) (AP)

So there are people who are even pro-abortion who agree that the Hyde Amendment is reasonable. That's why it's been so enduring so far.

In spite of people who are passionately pro-abortion, they recognize that it's an issue that divides our country and fundamentally it's one thing to use your own money to pay for an abortion, it's another thing to use your neighbor's money to pay for an abortion. And when you put the money into the Treasury, the United States government, that's essentially, you know, something that everyone's money goes for. And I think it would be unjust to use taxpayer money for it.

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Personally, I think it's wrong to use any money for it. But I think the compromise that has held thus far is to say we can't use tax dollars for it. 

What's your reaction to Democrats telegraphing that they want to repeal the Hyde Amendment, especially in light of President-elect Biden switching his position on the Hyde Amendment? 

Davidson: Frankly, it makes me angry and sad at the same time. I mean, I literally want to weep for it because, frankly, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden say they're devout Catholics and clearly that's at odds with their doctrine. 

And when you look at, you know, Joe's position, it was principled on that and correct. And now it shows where the politics of the Democratic Party have moved, which is way to the left on a number of issues.

Not just life, but I mean, we're not even talking about abortion right now. We couldn't in the last Congress even get a vote on the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act. So that's not really abortion. You have every definition, completely separated from the mother now, a human being baby. And they're debating about whether to help that baby and provide care.

Is it rare? Yes, but we can't even vote to protect that life. And that's a really radical position.

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And as you saw in the presidential debates the Democrats had, they view it as something that cannot be tolerated in their party for a candidate to be pro-life. They just primaried Dan Lipinski and beat him. And in Tennessee, they unseated the long-serving Democratic member, removed him from the legislature over the objection of voters. They disqualified him from holding office and the Tennessee legislature within their party.

So it's an ideological purge that's essentially a heresy code for Democrats. And they completely do not tolerate pro-life as part of the viewpoint within their party. That's a big shift. 

Do you think there's a coalition of Republicans and moderate Democrats that would block the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, especially with the slimmer margin in Congress now? 

Davidson: I would certainly hope so. But we'll need more than five — at least there were five who opposed Speaker Pelosi. Those five won't necessarily be the same five that would oppose Pelosi's efforts to repeal the Hyde Amendment. 

But like I say, they've largely purged the pro-life people from their party already. And that message isn't lost on any of the Democratic members who have done all sorts of mental gymnastics to recognize their own personal beliefs with what their party is pushing as a practice for the entire country. 

The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade said abortion is a constitutional right connected to the right to privacy. Doesn't the Hyde Amendment essentially ban people who can't afford to pay for an abortion out of their own pocket from exercising that right? 

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Davidson: The government doesn't supply you with any of your rights. We're endowed by our creator with rights. The United States cannot gift you any rights. Even when the Supreme Court says they can gift you rights, they can't.

You're endowed by your creator with certain inalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It begins with life.

And the government doesn't provide you with speech. It protects you. You're protected from the government, depriving you of your right of speech. 

The government doesn't provide you with press. It protects you from having the government inhibit it.

The government doesn't provide you with religion. The Constitution prevents the government from infringing on your right.

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The government doesn't provide you with firearms. It protects you from the government infringing on your right to keep and bear arms.

The government doesn't provide you with privacy. The Constitution prevents the government from depriving you of your God-given right to privacy. So if you're right was to have abortions, it certainly isn't your right to make your neighbors pay for your abortion. 

Would you like to see Roe v. Wade overturned? 

Davidson: Absolutely. I think it was wrongly decided in the first place. And it's a shame it's taken this long for the court to correct it. And I think we'll look back, I think in history when science is more fully appreciated on life inside the womb, that we'll look back in future generations kind of like we look at the era of slavery and say, "How did people tolerate that?"

I hope that day starts soon.

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rep-warren-davidsons-big-idea-keep-hyde-amendment-prevent-taxpayer-money-funding-abortion

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