The coalition that calls itself Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden said it is feeling a bit of buyer's remorse after the Biden administration negotiated a COVID-19 relief bill that allows for stimulus dollars to fund abortions.
The recently passed coronavirus spending package excluded the famous Hyde Amendment – a federal provision that is historically attached to bills in order to prevent taxpayer dollars from paying for procedures that end human life. The willingness of the president, a self-proclaimed Catholic, to abandon the Hyde Amendment has the Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden feeling betrayed.
"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," read a statement from the group. "The Biden team wanted to talk to us during the campaign to gain our support, and we gave it on the condition there would be active dialogue and common ground solutions on the issue of abortion. There has been no dialogue since the campaign."
The spokesman for the group, Dr. Richard Mouw, who also serves as President Emeritus at Fuller Theological Seminary, said that the organization had specifically asked the Biden campaign to "send a signal" that it was welcoming and inclusive of the pro-life community sometime early in his presidency.
"Unfortunately, I think we got a signal, but it was the wrong one," Mouw acknowledged. "It was a signal that the extreme wing within the Democratic Party is really determining the agenda. I don't see any reason why a Catholic president like Joe Biden who certainly has understood the teachings of the church could not at least say we want to cut back on the number of abortions, we don't want to federally fund abortions except in extreme circumstances."
The organization's leaders said that if the bill isn't changed to include the Hyde Amendment before it receives the president's signature, they would be forced to question whether its members' pro-life voices were "still welcome in the Democratic Party."