The Hyde Amendment bans federal funding for abortion in the Medicaid program except under extremely limited circumstances. The President’s budget abandons the millions of women who rely on Medicaid and other federal programs for health services, including federal employees and their spouses and dependents, women served by Indian Health Service, women in the Peace Corps and in federal prisons. It appears to clear the way for the District of Columbia to use its public funds for abortion.
“At a time in our nation’s history when Americans at every income level are losing their jobs and their health benefits, guaranteeing access to affordable, quality healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, is imperative,” stated Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, responding to the abortion funding restrictions maintained in the budget. “For millions of women, federal programs are their only means of getting healthcare. Abortion is the only medically necessary health service excluded from Medicaid coverage. Failure to provide that service—a service that only women need—is discrimination.”
Northup continued, “President Obama made clear during the election that he opposes the Hyde Amendment. And for good reason—over a third of women who rely on Medicaid and are seeking an abortion have been prevented from exercising their constitutional right to an abortion. Hyde unjustly impedes women’s access to timely, quality healthcare and disproportionately harms those women who already face significant barriers to obtaining services. Sound public health policy means protecting the wellbeing of all women.”
The Center is calling on Congress to step up and eliminate all restrictions on abortion funding, which would demonstrate much needed U.S. leadership and commitment to the human rights principles at the heart of reproductive rights – dignity, equality, and the ability to make reproductive decisions freely, without coercion or discrimination.
Contact your Congressperson and urge them to eliminate restrictions on abortion funding.
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