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GUEST COMMENTARY: Hyde Amendment, yes. Shalanda Young, no

GUEST COMMENTARY: Hyde Amendment, yes. Shalanda Young, no

Star Parker

Star Parker

The Office of Management and Budget is the largest office in the executive branch of the federal government.

First and foremost, the OMB prepares the budget proposal that the president sends up to Congress. Given we're talking about allocating almost $5 trillion of taxpayer funds, this is no small task.

President Biden accepted the withdrawal of his initial nominee for director of this enterprise, Neera Tanden, when the numerous members of Congress she has personally attacked and disparaged over the years via her Twitter account expressed their displeasure.

The talk now is that Shalanda Young, Biden's nominee for deputy director, should be bumped up to the director's job.

But now Young is embroiled in her own controversy.

In written response to questions associated with her confirmation hearings for deputy director, she noted her view that the Hyde Amendment should not be reauthorized, despite having been reauthorized every year since 1976. 

The amendment, named after its sponsor, Rep. Henry Hyde, was passed three years after the Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion. It prohibits using  federal funds for performing abortions, except in cases of danger to the life of the mother, incest and rape.

No taxpayer subsidy

The amendment was a logical follow-up to Roe v Wade.

The Supreme Court may have concluded that a woman has the right to destroy the unborn child she is carrying. But that right certainly doesn't extend to the federal government forcing taxpayers to pay for it.

But it turns out that Shalanda Young, who could be representing the president in the allocation and administration of $5 trillion of taxpayer money, doesn't see it that way.

For most of his political career, our Catholic president has supported the Hyde Amendment. But suddenly, in 2019, as he aspired to win his party's presidential nomination, Biden had a change of heart.

"The President has spoken in favor of Congress ending the Hyde Amendment," wrote Young, "as part of his commitment to providing comprehensive health care for all women. Further, eliminating the Hyde Amendment is a matter of economic and racial justice because it ... impacts Medicaid recipients, who are low-income."

In polling done by Gallup in 2020, 47% said abortion is morally wrong, and 44% said it is morally acceptable.

Somehow, our potential new director of OMB thinks being a poor black woman means not only having a right to destroy your unborn child but also having a right to use other people's money to pay for it.

It's also interesting to note that the same Gallup polling shows most of the sympathy for abortion is among high-income Americans, not low-income Americans.

52% oppose abortion

Among those earning less than $40,000 and those earning $40,000 to $99,999, 52% say abortion is morally wrong. Among those earning more than $100,000, 33% say abortion is morally wrong.

If any moral disparity appears to jump out here, it is the apparent disproportional moral tolerance among higher-income Americans of a horrible act that destroys human life and takes place overwhelmingly among lower-income Americans, a disproportionate number of them black.

It is hard not to recall the motivations of eugenicist Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that the Hyde Amendment saves 60,000 unborn babies each year.

If we are going to talk about women's health, and economic and racial justice, we should talk about helping and encouraging women to take control of and responsibility for their lives. Health is about life, not death.

I suggest that President Biden reach back into his Rolodex and find a new nominee to run the OMB. Someone overseeing the dispersal of $5 trillion of taxpayer funds should have more respect for life and property than does Shalanda Young.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the new weekly television show "Cure America with Star Parker." The opinions are the writer's.

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