December 08, 2020

Rep. Barbara Lee Calls for End to Discriminatory Hyde Amendment at Appropriations Committee Hearing

Washington, DC –  Congresswoman Barbara Lee today joined her colleagues on the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee  to hold a hearing on the severe  impact of the discriminatory Hyde Amendment.  

Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has allowed anti-choice politicians to add abortion coverage and funding bans to appropriations language. This includes restrictions to Medicaid,  Medicare, Federal employees,  Native Americans,  women in federal prisons and detention centers, and women who receive health care from community health centers.  

The Hyde Amendment disproportionately impacts abortion access for low-income women and women of color. According to data  from the  Guttmacher Institute, 58% of women of reproductive age enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP live in states that ban Medicaid coverage for abortion with some exceptions and  51% of  those enrolled  are women of color.  

“For too long, the racist and discriminatory Hyde Amendment has restricted access to reproductive care for low-income women and women of color. Access to reproductive care should never depend on your zip code or income,”  said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Co-chair of the Congressional Pro Choice Caucus and sponsor of the Each Woman Act. “Repealing the Hyde Amendment is long overdue, and a critical step toward racial justice. I’m appreciative of Chairwoman DeLauro’s leadership to ensure women everywhere have access to  coverage for all pregnancy-related health care, including abortion.”

 “The Hyde Amendment is a discriminatory policy,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “For more than 40 years, it has been routinely extended — every year as a legislative rider — but the time has come in this current moment to reckon with the norm, with the status quo, and view it through the lens of how it impacts communities of color. Now is the time to ensure that women of color and all women have access to the reproductive health they deserve. I thank my colleagues and our witnesses for joining me in holding this hearing and taking this critical first step in ending the inclusion of this policy in federal spending legislation.”

To watch Congresswoman Lee’s remarks at today’s hearing, click here.