Amid the Pandemic and Uprising for Racial Justice, Momentum To End the 44-Year-Old Hyde Amendment Is At An All-Time High

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With the harms of the Hyde Amendment on full display this year, All* Above All and women of color call for the end of this policy that is rooted in systemic racism.

Today’s 44th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment comes amid a national uprising for racial justice, allegations of forced sterilization of immigrant women, as well as a global pandemic that has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and, in the U.S., has fallen hardest upon Black and Brown women. We also face a consequential Supreme Court nomination that will have implications for our rights, including for abortion, for generations. This year, more than ever, the harms of the Hyde Amendment are on full display and demonstrate why it’s time to end this policy once and for all.

“What do police violence, wage gaps, likelihood of contracting COVID-19, and abortion coverage bans all have in common? They’re all rooted in systemic racism that denies the humanity of Black, Indigenous, and people of color and their ability to thrive,” said Destiny Lopez, co-director of All* Above All. “We’re united AF on at least one solution for a better future: lift the Hyde Amendment now."

The Hyde Amendment, a policy that is rooted in systemic racism, denies people struggling financially, especially women of color, the ability to build their families on their own terms and furthers the harms for those who are already marginalized by our health care system.

“For 44 years too long, the Hyde Amendment has banned abortion coverage – keeping people from getting the critical health care they need,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “It is one in a web of abortion restrictions that are part of a system of racist, sexist violence and control. Congress must do better and permanently eliminate Hyde. Our national focus should be on expanding health care options including abortion care – especially during a global pandemic – and rejecting policies that attack Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) people.”

Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment, which restricts coverage for abortion for people enrolled in Medicaid and other federal health programs, has put abortion care out of reach, particularly for people struggling to make ends meet, women of color, young people, and immigrants. Studies show that when politicians place restrictions on Medicaid coverage for abortion, they force one in four poor women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Research also shows that denying abortion coverage forces low-income women deeper into poverty, which is especially harmful at a time when women’s unemployment is at an all-time high.

“We hear it every day,” said Parker Dockray, executive director of All-Options. “People’s lives have been upended by the pandemic and economic crisis, and families are struggling to meet their basic needs, from diapers and formula for their children to struggling to pay for their abortion care due to loss of income. We must do away with abortion coverage bans like the Hyde Amendment and ensure everyone has the support they need to make their own decisions with dignity and respect.”

Thanks to the leadership of women of color, elected officials at every level across the country are bold and united in their support to end the Hyde Amendment once and for all. The EACH Woman Act, a groundbreaking bill led by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth in the Senate and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee in the House that would ensure public and private coverage, is up to 207 co-sponsors. Earlier this year, U.S. Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Barbara Lee, and Jan Schakowsky filed an amendment to strip Hyde from the federal spending bill. Local elected officials in cities like Austin and New York have stepped up for the second consecutive year to dedicate funding within their city budgets to practical support for abortion care.

Voters are united to end the Hyde Amendment – support for Medicaid coverage of abortion remains at an all-time high, with 62% of voters believing that the program should cover abortion. The same poll shows that support for Medicaid coverage of abortion is even higher in battleground states, with 69% of voters supporting coverage.

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All* Above All unites organizations and individuals, including 130 partner organizations, to build support for lifting bans that deny abortion coverage. Our vision is to restore public insurance coverage so that every woman, however much she makes, can get affordable, safe abortion care when she needs it. Learn more at allaboveall.org and follow our social media at @allaboveall.

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Alexa Garcia Ditta
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