A group called Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden expressed “disappointment” that Joe Biden is fulfilling his campaign promise to implement the radical pro-abortion platform formed largely by his party’s far left during the 2020 election campaign.
In an open letter Sunday, the coalition of 5,000 evangelicals said they “feel used and betrayed” after Senate Democrats rejected a move by Republicans to include the Hyde Amendment in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus-relief package.
“We are very disappointed about the COVID-19 relief package’s exclusion of the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding bipartisan policy that prevents taxpayer funding for abortion. We’re even more upset that the Biden administration is supporting this bill,” the coalition said.
They explained that as “pro-life leaders in the evangelical community, we publicly supported President Biden’s candidacy with the understanding that there would be engagement [with] us on the issue of abortion and particularly the Hyde Amendment.”
“We feel used and betrayed and have no intention of simply watching these kinds of efforts happen from the sidelines,” they said.
Biden, however, made clear during a campaign event in May 2019 that he no longer backed the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal taxpayer dollars from funding most abortions. Biden previously described himself as “middle-of-the road” on abortion, opposing partial birth abortion and federal funding.
During the campaign, Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden reasoned that while they disagreed with Biden and the Democratic Party platform on abortion, they insisted that Biden’s policies “are more consistent with the biblically shaped ethic of life than those of Donald Trump.”
“Knowing that the most common reason women give for abortion is the financial difficulty of another child, we appreciate a number of Democratic proposals that would significantly alleviate that financial burden: accessible health services for all citizens, affordable childcare, a minimum wage that lifts workers out of poverty,” the coalition said in an October letter. “For these reasons, we believe that on balance, Joe Biden’s policies are more consistent with the biblically shaped ethic of life than those of Donald Trump. Therefore, even as we continue to urge different policies on abortion, we urge evangelicals to elect Joe Biden as president.”
In the letter Sunday, the group called on Biden “to honor his commitment to us and immediately demand the House of Representatives apply the Hyde language to the American Relief package.”
“This is no time for radical change to longstanding abortion policy,” they continued.
The called on Democratic Reps. Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Jim Langevin of Rhode Island, Steve Lynch of Massachusetts and Tim Ryan of Ohio “to oppose this bill, as it stands, and demand the Hyde Amendment be included.”
“If this is not done, it will raise the question of whether or not we are still welcome in the Democratic Party,” the group said.
Among the evangelical leaders who signed the letter are Richard Mouw, president emeritus of Fuller Seminary; Ron Sider, president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action; Jerusha Duford, speaker, author and granddaughter of Billy Graham; John Huffman, board chairman emeritus of Christianity Today; author Richard J. Foster; Roberta Hestenes, former president of Eastern University; and Joel C. Hunter, a former senior pastor and adviser to President Barack Obama.
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