Rep. Henry Hyde, Champion for the Preborn, Finishes Well


Dr. Dobson says: ‘It is impossible to calculate how many millions of babies were spared because of his courageous work.’

Pro-life champion and former U.S. Congressman Henry Hyde died this
morning at 83. Though thousands are grieving Hyde’s death, he
will best be remembered for his vigilant fight for life.

“With the passing of Rep. Henry Hyde today, the pro-family
movement lost one of its most passionate defenders of human
life,” said Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on
the Family. “It is impossible to calculate how many millions of
babies were spared because of his courageous work in the House of

Early in his political career, which spanned four decades, Hyde
courageously introduced an amendment to prevent federal funding of
abortion. Congress adopted the measure, which became known as the Hyde
Amendment and continues to protect preborn babies.

He later led the battle to pass the ban on partial-birth abortion.
In addition, Hyde authored the Mexico City policy, which prohibits
federal money from being used to support abortions abroad.

Earlier this month, President Bush presented the Illinois Republican
with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his “good and
purposeful life.” He issued a statement today in honor of the
admirable public servant.

“This fine man believed in the power of freedom, and he was a
tireless champion of the weak and forgotten” he said. “He
used his talents to build a more hopeful America and promote a culture
of life.” 

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy
for Focus on the Family Action, said people working in the pro-life
field could learn a lot from what Hyde did and how he did it.

“He was a compassionate, dedicated force to preserve innocent
life in the womb, and he did that in a way that built friendships
across that great gap of pro-life versus pro-abortion,” he said.
“Henry Hyde was one of those rare politicians who knew how to
build relationships at the same time as he created strong divisions on
important issues.

“I believe that there’s a big celebration in heaven and
that’s something that should, I hope, comfort his family in this
time of loss. But it is a loss. The family is right to grieve, but
right to be proud of what this man accomplished.”

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