How Hyde Hurts Women

How Hyde Hurts Women

Executive Summary

Published in Conscience Magazine, 2015, Issue 2.

For a short time after abortion was legalized by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, Medicaid did not distinguish between coverage for abortion and other medical services. Then emerged the Hyde Amendment?the epitome of social, economic and reproductive health injustice facing low-income women and women of color. The Hyde Amendment prohibits Medicaid coverage of abortion services except in the most dire circumstances?pregnancies from rape or incest or that endanger the life of the woman. Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois intended that his rider to the annual appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health, Education and Welfare (now known as the Department for Health and Human Services) would discriminate against low-income women.

Once the Hyde Amendment went into effect, abortion coverage was eliminated except in very limited circumstances, leaving a disproportionate number of low-income women and women of color struggling to get by. Passage of the Hyde Amendment was one of the first major blows to abortion access post-Roe, setting a precedent that dispatched a flurry of abortion restrictions in its wake. Read the full article here »

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