Manchin Demands Reconciliation Bill Include Hyde Amendment, Which Prohibits Feds from Paying for Abortion Expenses

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) has demanded that an expansion of Medicaid that Democrats want to pass as part of a $3.5 trillion spending plan must include the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal agencies, including Medicaid, from paying for abortion expenses.

“Yeah, we’re not taking the Hyde Amendment off. Hyde’s going to be on,” Manchin told National Review. “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.”

Although bills have been passed with Hyde Amendment language since government spending bills began including the stipulation in 1976, doing so has become more controversial among Democrats in recent years, and its inclusion in the reconciliation bill, which would allow Democrats to pass the bill without a filibuster, is bound to raise concerns about violations of abortion rights in states that have taken steps to limit the practice.

Recently, Florida Representative Webster Barnaby (R) filed the “Florida Heartbeat Act,” legislation that would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, only allowing them to be performed if the mother’s life is in danger. The bill would empower citizens to sue anyone who induces or performs an abortion against the bill’s guidelines.

The Florida measure essentially mirrors a Texas law that went into effect after the Supreme Court voted 5-4 not to block its implementation, saying abortion providers had not met the burden required for a stay of the law.

It prohibits virtually all abortions after a heartbeat is detected, which is typically after six weeks of pregnancy and empowers citizens to file lawsuits against abortion providers suspected of violating the new policy.

The law, referred to as a “fetal heartbeat bill,” would also allow citizens to file lawsuits against abortion providers suspected of violating the new policy.