NEW YORK, NY – Planned Parenthood Federation of America stands with reproductive justice leaders and organizations like All of Above All* in calling for the repeal the Hyde Amendment on its 40th year. The Hyde amendment denies coverage of abortion in almost all cases for patients who rely on Medicaid and disproportionately harms low-income women and women of color.
“Planned Parenthood firmly believes that every woman — regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, zip code or country of origin — should have the ability to make decisions about abortion without barriers,” said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “The Hyde Amendment is a dangerous and unfair policy that sends the unjust message that low-income women don’t deserve the same access, nor dignity, to make personal life choices as women with private insurance. In the 40th year of the Hyde Amendment, we redouble our efforts with our partners in advocating for the repeal of this dangerous amendment. Repealing Hyde would be a historic shift for low-income Americans who for too long have faced incredible financial barriers to accessing safe and legal abortion.”
“At Planned Parenthood health centers, we see the devastating impact Hyde has on low-income women and women of color firsthand. Planned Parenthood has long opposed Hyde restrictions because we trust women to make the best decisions for their lives and their families, including decisions about abortion,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “In order for a woman to be able to make a real decision based on what is best for her circumstances, she needs to be able to access and afford the care she needs. When insurance coverage provides for all pregnancy-related care except abortion, it interferes with private health decisions that are best left to a woman and her family.”
Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has blocked federal Medicaid funding for abortion services, with three narrow exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or to protect a woman’s life. This means Medicaid cannot cover abortion even when a woman’s health is at risk and her doctor recommends she get an abortion. Medicaid provides coverage to 1 in 5 women of reproductive age (15-44), and due to the structural inequalities in our country that link racism, sexism, and economic inequality, women of color disproportionately comprise the majority of Medicaid enrollees. In fact, 30% of Black women and 24% of Hispanic women are enrolled in Medicaid, compared to 14% of white women. A majority of Americans agree that a woman enrolled in Medicaid should have all her pregnancy-related health care covered by her insurance, including abortion services.
In addition to advocating for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and other federal restrictions that cut off abortion access, Planned Parenthood supports passage of the EACH Woman Act, a groundbreaking bill sponsored by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Diana DeGette (D-CO-1), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9) that would end all restrictions on abortion coverage in public and private health care programs. By lifting abortion coverage restrictions, such as the Hyde Amendment, the EACH Woman Act would ensure that each woman -- no matter where she lives, her income level, or insurance coverage -- can make her own decisions about her own pregnancy and get the care she needs without political interference.
Learn more about the harmful impact of Hyde amendment here.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With almost 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
September 30, 2016