We’ve made progress educating people about the Hyde Amendment. That’s why they’re trying to stop us by making it permanent.
Moments ago, mere days after the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision affirming the constitutional right to an abortion, Congress voted to ban abortion access for marginalized communities. Despite millions of people marching around the world in support of abortion access and racial, economic, and gender justice, Congress chose to respond by voting to withhold abortion coverage through H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.” H.R. 7, and its Senate companion S.184. These are vicious pieces of legislation that bar people seeking abortions from using their health insurance for basic reproductive care. It denies those of us who can’t afford an abortion the trust and respect we deserve as humans to determine the course of our own lives and families.
H.R. 7 makes the Hyde Amendment permanent law; banning federal funds from covering abortion care for those enrolled in Medicaid, detained in federal prisons and immigration detention centers, Indian Health Service, federal employees and their families, and those who are n the military and Peace Corps. This heartless bill also denies the District of Columbia the ability to use their own money to cover abortion care for residents, and bars private insurance companies from offering abortion coverage on the state marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.
Politicians who voted in favor of H.R. 7 either don’t realize or don’t care that policies causing an undue burden of paying for an abortion contribute to delaying abortions, which elevate both cost and risk, and also eliminate the option of medical abortion for many. For people with lower incomes, obtaining costs for a procedure may take weeks or months, forcing patients to travel greater distances to providers who offer services for late stage procedures. The effects of both federal and state-based policies have already combined to create a class-based gap in the reproductive health system that often cannot be bridged by people who are struggling to get by.
These extreme regulations also encourage private health insurance companies to stop providing abortion coverage altogether. This ruthless vote to ban abortion coverage comes less than a day after the Trump Administration signed the Global Gag Rule, denying organizations around the world the ability to talk about abortion as an option if they receive any U.S. funds.
Said Yamani Hernandez, Executive Director of the National Network of Abortion Funds,
“The National Network of Abortion Funds, and its 70 organizational members, have been fighting against the Hyde Amendment for decades. As a part of the All* Above All campaign to eliminate abortion coverage bans, we know that by passing this bill on to the House, Congress has shown complete and utter disregard for the health and welfare of those seeking abortions, particularly those who cannot afford it. This is an inhumane government overreach for anyone who has a health insurance plan.
“Abortion coverage bans are how politicians specifically target people with low incomes and communities of color in ways that they can’t restrict other groups. We know policies like the Hyde Amendment disproportionately harm people of color and their ability to afford abortion care because of data gathered over the last five years from our own abortion fund, the George Tiller Memorial Abortion Fund. We see the tremendous real-world, harmful effects when politicians restrict public funding of abortion or set up barriers to access, and it is clear all such policies must come to an immediate end.”