Here is the text of the letter that was sent the the Speaker of the House on Wednesday, February 25, 2009:
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Obey, and Chairwoman Slaughter:
We write to you today about critical pro-life policies that may become contentious in the upcoming appropriations process. As you know, for many years pro-life measures have been added to the various appropriations bills to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to promote or perform abortion, protect the consciences of health care professionals, and prevent funding for unethical human embryo experiments. Often referred to as pro-life riders, each year these provisions are included in legislation reported out of Appropriations subcommittees.
Some of these measures have been in place for over thirty years. The Hyde Amendment, for example, has been in effect since 1976. Enacted under a Democratic Congress, the Hyde Amendment has been renewed by administrations and congresses regardless of party control. Members of both parties have expressed rtrong support for these measures, which reflect the moral concerns of many Americans who do not wish to see their tax dollars used for any organization that provides abortion services.
We respectfully request that the pro-life riders be included in any legislation reported out of the
Appropriations Committee. We believe that failure to include all of the current policies with regard to the right to life will mark a radical departure from a policy a majority of Americans support. If you choose to take such action, then we ask that the Rules Committee report a rule that allows for consideration of any deleted riders on the floor of House of Representatives. The magnitude of this issue and the history associated with it require no less. If this Congress intends to rescind these riders, at a minimum the American people deserve a full debate with an up-or-down vote. Thank you for your time and consideration of our request.
Signed by 180 Members of Congress. Read the document and see who signed it here.