Biden’s budget left out the Hyde Amendment. Defenders hope he stays out

know about Biden’s budget left out the Hyde Amendment. Defenders hope he stays out

by President Joe Biden budget proposal 2023 it was released on March 28, without a 40-year restrictive clause known as the Hyde Amendment. This is the second year Biden has ruled out the controversial amendment that denies abortion insurance coverage for people enrolled in Medicaid. Public support for ending Hyde is at an all-time high, with nearly six out of 10 Americans who support health insurance coverage for abortion, whether public or private. Abortion rights advocates hope the budget will pass without Hyde and that lawmakers will not reintroduce the amendment to appease conservative lawmakerslike during 2022 project expenses talks.

“We applaud the Biden administration for its new commitment to end the Hyde Amendment by removing this decades-old policy, which disproportionately harms working people of color to make ends meet, from its budget,” Morgan Hopkins said. , Interim Executive Director of Campaigns and Strategy at All* Above All. “It is an important step forward to end a decades-long policy.”

The Hyde Amendment has been included in annual spending bills since 1976, three years after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion rights in 1973. Roe vs. Wade. Since lawmakers could no longer ban abortions outright, former Republican Rep. Henry Hyde introduced the Hyde Amendment as a budget rider. When the amendment was passed, it was direct with the intention of it and it was aforementioned saying that the amendment was the best vehicle to restrict access to abortion. Since then, the amendment has been included every year and prohibits federal funds from being used to cover abortions for people enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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“We often say that [Hyde] it’s the original abortion ban,” Hopkins said. “We really need to see bold action from all of our elected officials to end this harmful policy.”

Historically, the people most affected by Hyde have been communities of color. According to the Guttmacher Institute, people of color who are of reproductive age are disproportionately likely to be low-income and insured through Medicaid. 29% of Black women ages 15-49 and 25% of Latina women enrolled in Medicaid between 2016 and 2019. Half of all women in the same age group with income below the poverty line were insured through Medicaid, and 62% of black women with incomes below the poverty line were insured through Medicaid.

“Systemic racism, economic insecurity and immigration status multiply barriers to abortion care,” said Hopkins. “People who are enrolled in Medicaid are disproportionately people of color because of the way capitalism and systemic racism work. Abortion care is an economic justice issue and a racial justice issue.”

in a testimony given to We testify, an organization that amplifies abortion experiences, Brittany Mostiller, a 35-year-old woman from Illinois, said she had to figure out how to pay $900 out of pocket, more money than she earned in a month, for an abortion because Medicaid doesn’t cover abortion. process. She was 22 at the time, she was the mother of three daughters, she worked part-time at a grocery store, and she knew she couldn’t afford another child “physically, emotionally, or financially,” she said in her testimony.

“The decision to abort was the easy part, but I couldn’t afford it,” Mostiller said in his testimony.

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It took Mostiller several weeks to save up for the procedure in Illinois, which meant she had to wait until later in her pregnancy before she could afford the $900.

“This was a really challenging and daunting experience,” Mostiller said. “Millions of people live in states hostile to abortion. I experienced firsthand the panic and worry of not being sure I could get the abortions I wanted because I couldn’t afford them. Medicaid insurance has been a health care lifesaver for me and my family, even when I chose to be a parent. We need to make sure everyone with Medicaid can decide if, when and how to grow their families without fear of having that decision taken away from them simply because insurance won’t cover it.”

Since the Mostiller, Illinois abortion has become one of 16 states that allows people enrolled in Medicaid to have abortion coverage. People in the other 34 states and the District of Columbia have to pay for the procedure themselves or access abortion funds to pay for abortion costs, which could include the procedure, medications, transportation, and lodging if they need to travel.

“There is a web of barriers to abortion care that would also need to be addressed for people to actually be able to access care,” Hopkins said. “That includes making sure clinics can stay open and making sure that if people have to travel, they can move freely. Ideally, people would not have to travel far to receive abortion services. So it’s a step forward, and we know that bigger changes still need to happen before people can fully access abortion services.”

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As the fate of abortion rights hangs in the balance with the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on abortion in June, and conservative states passing abortion bans at an alarming rate, abortion rights advocates see the removal of the Hyde Amendment as a victory to guarantee and expand abortion. access, but I hope that the Congress and the Senate will support the push. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer wait to pass the 2023 appropriations bill through the House of Representatives by the end of June.

“With states like Texas, Idaho, Florida and many others making abortion care out of reach, this critical moment we find ourselves in demands bold action from all of our elected officials,” said Hopkins. “Now we expect Congress to build on this momentum and pass federal spending bills without Hyde and coverage bans. Abortion justice cannot wait.”