FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Protections for the unborn belong at the forefront of the federal budget, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., wrote in a letter sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday.

“As the Senate Appropriations Committee continues to work on legislation for fiscal year 2025, we urge the committee to ensure that long-standing, bipartisan pro-life provisions are included as bill text,” says Blackburn’s letter, co-signed by Republicans Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Roger Marshall of Kansas, and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, and shared with The Daily Signal.

“These provisions have been enshrined in law every year for decades, and it is essential that we continue this bipartisan work to protect our nation’s most vulnerable—the unborn,” the letter continues.

Blackburn and the other senators urged the committee to renew pro-life policies such as the Hyde Amendment, which has prohibited taxpayer funding of most abortions since 1976, in the annual appropriations bill.

“A procedure intended to end a human life cannot credibly be considered a form of health care,” the letter says. “A majority of Americans, including majorities of Republicans and independents, oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to bankroll abortions.”

Americans should not have to fund procedures that many consider to be murder, the letter says, citing a Gallup poll showing 57% of Americans agree abortion is murder.

The Hyde Amendment, which is in the language of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, “safeguards the ethical, moral, and religious convictions of millions of Americans.”

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, the American Family Action Network, Americans United for Life, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Students for Life Action endorsed the letter.

“For decades, Congress has ensured that the dignity of human life is upheld through these important appropriations riders,” said Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America. “In a post-Roe world that recognizes there is no federal right to abortion, legislators should fight harder than ever to keep taxpayer dollars out of the abortion industry. These provisions are commonsense, bipartisan, and are critical to protect life.”

The senators advocated for the committee to keep other provisions that also protect life in the bill:

  • The Smith Amendment, which bans taxpayers’ dollars from funding abortions for federal employees.
  • The Dornan Amendment, which prohibits taxpayers’ funds from paying for abortions in the District of Columbia.
  • Abortion Funding for Prisoners, which restricts taxpayers’ dollars from funding abortions for federal prisoners.
  • The Helms Amendment, which bars taxpayers’ funds from financing abortions in foreign aid
  • The Siljander Amendment, which prohibits taxpayers’ dollars from paying for any lobbying regarding abortion.
  • The Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which grants the president the discretion to ban organizations that promote coercive abortion from receiving U.S. funds.
  • The Weldon Amendment, which permits health care and insurance providers to opt out of participating in elective abortion procedures based on their religious and moral beliefs.

Retaining long-standing pro-life provisions in the appropriations bill “follows decades-long precedent and honors the desires of most Americans not to financially support this life-ending procedure,” the letter says.

The appropriations bill will likely be enacted by the end of September. Fiscal year 2025 begins Oct. 1.