The so-called Hyde Amendment is a policy rider that has been added to the annual federal budget every year since 1976 in reaction to the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Championed by the vocal anti-abortion Congressman Henry Hyde, the Amendment bars the use of federal funds for abortion procedures. This means Medicaid recipients, service members, and young people who are the most dependent on federally-funded health services cannot access abortion services through their healthcare plan and must find the money and resources to seek out the procedure. For many people, this is equivalent to an abortion ban.
However, the The Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law, and Congress can simply exclude it from the next federal budget. According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, if the Hyde Amendment had been excluded in 2019 “it could have provided federal support for abortion coverage for 13.9 million reproductive-age women enrolled in Medicaid, as well as millions of others in similarly restricted federal programs.”
It is unconscionable to continue to include this policy in the federal budget. Congress must protect and expand abortion access in every way possible given the Supreme Court’s hostility towards the right to privacy and reproductive freedoms. Demand the Hyde Amendment is excluded from the next fiscal year budget.