May 28, 2021

Pro-Choice Caucus leaders applaud exclusion of Hyde amendment in president’s budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Leaders of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus hailed the exclusion of the Hyde amendment from President Biden’s first annual budget proposal submitted to Congress today as a significant moment in their fight to expand access to reproductive care.

It’s the first time in decades that the White House has submitted a budget to Congress that does not include the controversial and damaging amendment that bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services – and could pave the way for Congress to do away with the policy once and for all.

“We applaud President Biden for fulfilling his promise and sending us a budget proposal without the Hyde amendment,” said Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO). “Abortion services are a critical part of reproductive health care. It not only must be legal, it also must be accessible.”

For more than 40 years, the Hyde amendment has withheld abortion coverage from millions of Americans – including those with Medicaid who often live paycheck-to-paycheck and can’t otherwise afford abortion care. Its burdens fall heaviest on people of color who also face other systemic health inequities.

Evidence has shown that the impacts of being denied abortion care are both acute and long-term and can have a lasting effect on a woman’s health, safety, and economic security. 

The Pro-Choice Caucus leaders sent a letter to President Biden in March urging him to remove the Hyde amendment – and other abortion coverage bans – from his budget request. 

The proposal released today is a significant sign of support from the White House and comes on the heels of a series of unprecedented attacks on abortion rights and access across the country – including the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a challenge that could undermine the protections provided by its ruling in Roe v. Wade. 

“Today is a historic moment but our fight to protect reproductive rights is still far from over,” the lawmakers said.  “Now, it’s time for Congress to act in support of reproductive health, rights, and justice. And we are encouraged by commitments made by House leadership as we continue this fight to ensure all people have access to the reproductive health care – including abortion care – that they need. The Pro-Choice Caucus will work towards appropriations bills free not only of Hyde but also the related Helms and Weldon amendments, which, like Hyde, create additional and medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion access both in the United States and around the world.”