March 12, 2019

Congresswoman Lee Reintroduces the EACH Woman Act to End the Harmful and Discriminatory Hyde Amendment

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, along with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Congresswoman Diana DeGette, led a group of 109 Democrats in reintroducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act or the EACH Woman Act. For the first time, this visionary legislation has a companion bill in the U.S. Senate, led by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Patty Murray (D-WA). 

This legislation would end the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, which disproportionately affects low-income women and women of color. The EACH Woman Act would ensure that all women, regardless of income, insurance or zip code, can make personal reproductive health care decisions without interference from politicians.

“No woman should be denied the full spectrum of reproductive health care because of her zip code or income level – yet that is the reality for too many low-income women and women of color,” Lee said. “The EACH Woman Act ensures that every woman is empowered to make critical decisions about her own pregnancy – and has coverage for all pregnancy-related health care, including abortion – regardless of her financial situation. I am proud to reintroduce this bill with the support of my colleagues and the trailblazing women leading the fight for reproductive justice around the country.”

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed women’s constitutional right to make their own reproductive decisions, making clear that the government has no place getting in between women and their doctors,” Duckworth said. “But for decades, conservative lawmakers have worked to whittle down that constitutionally-protected right to the point where it’s now effectively inaccessible for low-income women who rely on Medicaid, for female servicemembers and for millions more women nationwide. The Supreme Court didn’t protect these rights only for wealthy women, and they didn’t say only for women who live in certain states. That kind of discrimination is not right, not fair and it’s certainly not equal—so I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the EACH Woman Act so that every woman in this country has equal access to her constitutionally-protected rights, no matter her income, her race or her zip code.”

“This bill would help address the unacceptable reality that far too many women, particularly low-income women, young women, women of color, and those who live in rural areas, have the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion in name only—not in practice,” said Murray. “I believe that as the Trump Administration and its allies work as hard as they can to take away access to abortion in our country and move women backward, we need to do even more to lay out our vision for ensuring every woman—regardless of how she is insured, her zip code, or her income—can make the decisions that are right for her.”

“Though the Trump Administration is bending over backwards to erase reproductive rights for women, the EACH Woman Act takes a giant and important leap forward. I am proud to once again introduce legislation that will allow every woman to make her own health care decisions regardless of her income, her race, where she works, or how she gets her insurance,” said Schakowsky. “The Hyde Amendment has impacted millions of women across this nation for far too long, and I am glad that my colleagues in the Senate have now joined us to say: enough is enough. Comprehensive health care is a human right, and the EACH Woman Act affirms that promise.”  

“For the first time ever, we have a pro-choice majority in the U.S. House of Representatives,” DeGette said. “But, at the same time, we continue to face an administration and a Republican-led Senate that are both determined to make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion in this country. This bill would protect women’s access to abortion services and, as co-chair of the Congressional Pro-choice Caucus, getting it passed is one of our top priorities.”