First passed by Congress in 1976, the Hyde Amendment ensures that abortion is not covered in the comprehensive health care services provided by the federal government through Medicaid. Congress has made some exceptions to the funding ban, which have varied over the years. At present, the federal Medicaid program mandates abortion funding in cases of rape or incest, as well as when a pregnant woman's life is endangered.

Hyde/Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment

Currently, supporters of abortion are exploiting gaps in the existing laws. A nationwide campaign is underway to force all health care providers to participate in abortion.

Federal law needed to be strengthened. The Hyde Amendment was amended to affirm the principle that no one should be forced to participate in abortion in any way. This new language is called the Hyde/Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment. It protects hospitals, other institutions, and individual health care providers from governmental discrimination when they decline to provide, pay for, or refer for abortion.