House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pledged support for repealing the Hyde Amendment on Thursday, saying it was "long overdue."
The Hyde Amendment of 1976 bars federal taxpayer dollars from being used in abortions, except in the case of incest, rape, or medical necessity.
When asked about the prospect of overturning Hyde in the coming year, Pelosi said she had been an opponent of the bill since before her time in office and that she "would be receptive to that happening."
Pelosi also said that continuing to ban federal funds from abortion was an "unfairness to women in our country."
"The American people know that we have to have fairness in what we do," she said. "And this is not an issue of the Hyde Amendment, it is an issue as to the impact that it has in terms of unfairness to women in our country... Again, way before I was in Congress – as soon as the Hyde Amendment was there – I was thinking, 'How can we get rid of that?' So, it's long overdue getting rid of it, in my view."
Pelosi's sentiments echoed those shared by the incoming chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who said "the time has come" to repeal the Hyde Amendment during a Tuesday hearing to discuss "abortion affordability."
The majority of Americans overwhelmingly support the Hyde Amendment, which has saved an estimated 2.4 million babies from abortion since it was enacted.
"In every poll, a plurality of Americans opposes public funding of abortions. In every poll but one, that plurality is a majority," said Slate on the issue in 2019. "The questions vary, but the result is the same. Respondents support 'banning federal funding for abortion' except in rape cases or to save the woman's life."
🔦 A 2016 poll by YouGov found that "most Americans support the Hyde Amendment," with 55% of citizens –and 41% of Democrats – supporting the Amendment while only 29% of individuals oppose it.