by Mary Margaret Olohan
Democratic senators plan to introduce legislation that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, arguing that the decades-old legislation is both “anti-choice” and “blatantly racist.”
The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act will be introduced in Congress Thursday, the HuffPost reported, by Democratic Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Democratic California Sen. Barbara Lee. The legislation demands the reversal of the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortions.
Duckworth and Lee argue that the Hyde Amendment prevents low-income women and women of color from accessing abortions.
“This isn’t about what side you’re on in the abortion debate, it’s about equality and opportunity plain and simple,” Duckworth said Wednesday, HuffPost reported. “Whatever you think about the procedure, we should all agree that what’s legal for wealthy Americans should not be so inaccessible for Americans of color and low-income Americans.”
“Let’s call this amendment what it is: It’s anti-choice and it’s blatantly racist,” Lee said during a Wednesday call with reporters. “We know it disproportionately impacts low-income people and women of color. It should never have been signed into law and it’s way past time that it was repealed. The Hyde Amendment has been used by anti-choice politicians to keep abortion care out of the reach for people already marginalized by our health care system.”
Reverend Dean Nelson, the Human Coalition Action Executive Director, told the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday that the Hyde Amendment is one of the few remaining legal barriers to “the abortion industry’s systematic and racist exploitation of people of color.”
When someone decides to have an abortion, they should be able to access equitable & affordable care when & how they need it. The EACH Act—introduced today in the US House & Senate—would ensure insurance coverage for abortion. #4EACHofUs
— Guttmacher Institute (@Guttmacher) March 25, 2021
“Across the country, Black women experience the highest abortion rate of any demographic, nearly five times higher than white women,” Nelson told the DCNF. “And even with the Hyde Amendment in place, the abortion industry already targets the poor with great success; close to half of the women who get abortions in America live below the federal poverty line.”
“The Hyde Amendment alone won’t halt the advance of abortion in America, but it does do something to protect Black lives,” Nelson said. “If the Democratic party seriously wants to fight racism, then it won’t repeal one of the few legal measures standing in the way of abortion’s Black genocide.”
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Mary Margaret Olohan is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.