“This is the last year,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat who will chair the House Appropriations Committee in January. “The time has come in this current moment to reckon with the norm, with the status quo. The Hyde Amendment is a discriminatory policy. Now is the time to empower all women to make deeply personal life decisions without politicians inserting themselves into the doctor’s office.”
DeLauro had previously indicated her desire to rescind the Hyde Amendment, which was enacted more than 40 years ago. But removing the policy from spending bills would require consent from the US Senate and its Republican majority.
She highlighted how the policy affects communities of color.
“More than half of the women affected by the Hyde Amendment are women of color,” DeLauro said. “Almost one-third are black, 27 percent Latina, nearly one-fifth Asian-Americans and Pacific Islander women, as well as indigenous women also covered.
“While the Labor/HHS/Education bill has carried the Hyde Amendment every year since 1976, this is the last year. The inequities in our country’s health-care system that have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic all further expose the impact of the Hyde Amendment. All of these issues deny the humanity of people of color and their ability to do well for their families and their communities.”
A bill to reverse the amendment has 24 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate and 186 Democratic co-sponsors in the House. DeLauro can choose to terminate the amendment from next year’s spending bills, and then consult with the Senate to persuade them to follow her lead. If Democrats take over as the majority party in the Senate in January, her efforts could be successful.
Here’s what you need to know about the Hyde Amendment according to the National Right to Life:
1. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal Medicaid dollars from paying for abortion.
2. The Hyde Amendment was first enacted by Congress in 1976 and has been passed each year since then with bipartisan support.
3. Most Americans oppose their tax dollars paying for abortion.
4. Publicly funded abortions were happening in the 1970s at a high rate. Since the passage of the amendment, the abortion rate has dropped significantly.
5. Since its enactment, an estimated 2.13 million lives have been saved due to the Hyde Amendment. (Read more on this data from Dr. Michael New in his report for the Lozier Institute, “Hyde @ 40: Analyzing the Impact of the Hyde Amendment.”)
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice