For the first time since the 1970s, the House has passed a federal appropriations bill that does not include the Hyde Amendment. The bill in its current form has a very good chance of passing through a divided Senate, but this moment is a pivotal one for abortion rights advocates.
The Hyde Amendment, which restricted the use of federal funds (including Medicaid) to pay for abortions (except in cases of rape, incest, or life-threatening health problems of a pregnant person), was first introduced in 1976. Passed. Since then, it has been re-approved each year and is usually attached to spending bills as a rider.
But this time, President Biden introduced a version of the budget that didn’t include the Hyde Amendment earlier this month. time reportAnd on Thursday, an appropriation bill without the Hyde Amendment passed the House. 219 vs 208 vote down party line. It is up to an evenly divided Senate to pass the bill.
Without insurance, abortion can be expensive (up to $1,500, according to the US). parenthood planning). So, in effect, the Hyde Amendment makes it more difficult for low-income people enrolled in federal programs that cover health care costs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, to access abortion. Guttmacher Institute I will explain. The Hyde Amendment currently affects people in 34 states and the District of Columbia, a policy that disproportionately affects people of color.
The House also approved another appropriations bill that omitted the Helms Amendment. time The report now prohibits the use of US foreign aid funds for abortions in other countries. The Helms Amendment restrictions are also upheld in countries where abortion is legal. Guttmacher Institute Say.
Excluding the Hyde Amendment from this appropriation bill is a major step forward in what has been an unfortunate shadowy part of the fight for abortion rights in the United States. Advocates say it should be done to make reproductive care accessible to everyone easily and affordably.
“For 45 years, women of color have fought to end the Hyde Amendment, which undermines our ability to make decisions about our families and our lives. all* above all, said in a statement. “Today we made history. The injustice of banning abortion compensation will not exist in our future.”
“This is a historic victory for reproductive freedom, and this moment has been in the making for decades. Partner with the Reproductive Justice Movement to end harmful bans on coverage of abortion care. We extend our deepest gratitude to the women of color who have led the fight for the cause.” NARAL Pro Choice USA, said in a statement. “Now Congress must pass these appropriations bills — and other bills that do not ban abortion care coverage — every dayYour body can access the care it needs no matter how you have insurance. ”
Jamila Perritt, MD, President and CEO Reproductive Health Physicianin a statement called the Hyde Amendment-like ban on abortion coverage.
“As a doctor, I know how important health insurance is. Patients should not be denied treatment because of their zip code, income, or type of health insurance they have,” Dr. Perritt said. said. “The package approved today by the House of Representatives also includes important investments to increase access to sexual and reproductive health care and health equity. It’s up to the Senate to pass an appropriation bill without banning unfair abortion compensation.”