For Immediate Release: July 23, 2020
Washington, DC — U.S. Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) today submitted an amendment to the House Rules Committee which would strike the racist and discriminatory Hyde Amendment from the FY’21 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. The Hyde Amendment is an anti-choice policy banning coverage for abortion care for those who receive their health insurance through the federal government. The move comes after the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives introduced a federal funding bill that included the abortion coverage ban earlier this month. NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement in response:
“We are grateful for the fearless leadership and work of Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Barbara Lee, Jan Schakowsky, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to end the Hyde Amendment. Reproductive freedom must be for every body, and to make that a reality we have to end discriminatory bans on abortion coverage. We urge House Democrats to support this effort to remove abortion coverage restrictions from the spending bill and speak out against any provisions that would limit access to reproductive healthcare, including coverage for abortion care. We remain deeply disappointed that Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives elected to include this anti-choice abortion coverage ban in their funding bill in the first place, despite voters electing a majority that supports reproductive freedom. The Hyde Amendment hurts women and families, especially BIPOC communities and those with lower incomes, and all Democrats must be unwavering in their commitment to putting an end to this policy once and for all.”
Bans on abortion coverage like the anti-choice Hyde Amendment disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. These bans create additional barriers to care for those already facing enormous hurdles to access. During the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, candidates coalesced around the party’s core values by voicing their support for ending the Hyde Amendment’s ban on abortion coverage once and for all. Democrats included ending this discriminatory anti-choice policy in their 2016 party platform. Earlier this month, NARAL Pro-Choice America joined a national coalition of progressive groups in urging the the Democratic Party to deepen its advocacy for reproductive freedom by reaffirming key proposals included in the 2016 platform, including ending the Hyde Amendment.
Abortion is front and center for Democrats in 2020: Support for abortion rights is at an all-time high and polling confirms reproductive freedom is a major issue for Democratic and Independent voters. These values are non-negotiable to the 77% of Americans who support the legal right to abortion in the United States.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power, and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”