In 1973, the Medicaid program, a program for low-income residents in the U.S., gave women the option to obtain an abortion. This option was taken away in 1976, when Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, banning Medicaid coverage of abortion.
State lawmakers have passed over 334 abortion restrictions since 2010, not including the national restrictions.
After 40 years of women of color primarily being affected by the decision to remove abortion from Medicaid, new polling data shows “battleground” voters are in 76 percent agreement that the Hyde Amendment needs to be overturned. Poll results also found, majority of “battleground” voters are willing to support a bill that allows Medicaid to cover abortion with a margin of 53 percent to 41 percent.
“We have a bold vision—that each of us to should be able to make decisions about pregnancy and parenting that are best for our families without political interference – and voters agree,” said Destiny Lopez, co-chair of All* Above All. “Across the country, people are FIRED up and taking bold and creative action. We’re ready to bring the shameful era of the Hyde Amendment to an end.”
Thursday, September 15, lead sponsor of legislation to end Hyde/EACH Woman Act Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Co-Director of All* Above All Destiny Lopez, sponsor of legislation to end Hyde/EACH Woman Act Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Partner at Hart Research Associates Molly O’Rourke, and Executive Director of Texas Equal Access (TEA) Fund Nan Little Kirkpatrick held an audio call to discuss the new polling data and impact of abortion restrictions on women of color.
In July 2015, Congresswoman Lee introduced the EACH Woman Act, an act that lifts the coverage ban on abortion restrictions, which instead, allows women and their families to make the decision they feel is best. Today, the bill has been supported by more than 120 members of the House of Representatives.
“Forty years of the Hyde Amendment is forty years too long,” said Lee. “I was a staffer in the House of Representatives when this shameful and discriminatory policy was first passed. This is why I introduced the EACH Woman Act to finally make Hyde history. I’m proud that this legislation now has more than 120 co-sponsors.” Lee continued, “However we feel about abortion, none of us, especially elected officials, should be interfering with a woman’s healthcare decision just because she is poor.”
According to All* Above All, “Research has demonstrated the impact of the Hyde Amendment on women and families: Restricting Medicaid coverage of abortion forces one in four poor women seeking abortion to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. A woman who wants to get an abortion but is denied is more likely to fall into poverty than one who can get an abortion.”
In efforts to show their increasing commitment to lifting the ban on abortion, United for Abortion Coverage is hosting its first ever week of action from September 25 through October 1. During the week of action, participants are utilizing creative platforms such as concerts, comedy shows, film screenings, and multi-city ad campaigns, to send messages to politicians, that enough is enough.
For more information on United for Abortion Coverage week of action or to join the campaign visit, allaboveall.org and follow them on social media at @allaboveall.