For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Washington, DC — Today, the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance a historic federal spending bill free of the Hyde Amendment’s discriminatory ban on coverage of abortion care for those who receive their health insurance through Medicaid. The bill also excludes the Weldon Amendment, which emboldens a broad variety of healthcare entities—including hospitals, insurance companies, and individual healthcare professionals—to deny care, coverage, or referrals for abortion. The Appropriations Committee also voted today to advance a spending bill without the Hyde Amendment’s ban on coverage of abortion care for pregnant people who are incarcerated.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement in response:
“History was made today in the fight for access to abortion care. Today’s committee votes are a critical step towards ensuring that the discriminatory Hyde Amendment becomes a shameful relic of the past. This victory is the result of years of dedication, leadership, and work by women of color and our partners in the reproductive justice movement.
We are grateful for the reproductive freedom champions in Congress who stood up for our fundamental freedoms in the face of disingenuous and relentless anti-choice attacks by advancing this bill without bans on coverage of abortion care. Now, Congress must pass this spending bill and bring us closer to a future where every body has access to the care they need, no matter where they live, where they work, or how they get their health insurance.”
For the first time in more than four decades, a federal spending bill free of the Hyde Amendment’s ban on Medicaid insurance coverage of abortion care was passed by the House Appropriations Committee. Before this bill, Congress has included bans and restrictions on abortion coverage as policy riders in its federal spending bills.
When in place, the Hyde Amendment disproportionately harms people who are already marginalized by our healthcare system, including women of color, young people, and transgender and non-binary people. Lifting the Hyde Amendment’s ban on coverage of abortion care for those who are insured through Medicaid and its ban on coverage of abortion care for pregnant people who are incarcerated, brings us one step closer to a world where every body has the freedom to make their own decisions about their future and health with dignity and respect.
This exciting news follows the House Committee on Appropriations recently voting to advance two other federal spending bills free of bans on coverage of abortion care, including the bans on coverage for District of Columbia residents, federal government employees, and Peace Corps volunteers. The State and Foreign Operations spending bill was also free of a global abortion restriction known as the Helms Amendment and included language to permanently end the global gag rule.
These victories for abortion access come as attacks on reproductive freedom have escalated across the country and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. This year alone, anti-choice state lawmakers have introduced, advanced, or passed more than 315 restrictions and attacks on abortion care. As of this month, over 90 restrictions on abortion access have been enacted at the state level, making 2021 the worst year for abortion rights since the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.