The Dangerous Consequences of the Hyde Amendment
Today, 37 years ago, Congress passed the Hyde amendment. This measure has effectively taken the right to choose away from countless women who struggle financially. The Hyde amendment blocks federal funds from covering abortion services in almost all circumstances for women who get their health insurance through Medicaid.
A new report from The Guttmacher Institute shows the "dire consequences [of the Hyde amendment] for women and their families" when they've been denied assistance for abortion coverage.
The numbers are stark. One in four women on Medicaid who seek an abortion have been unable to get one. And right now, 33 states have similar bans in place - meaning that only 17 states provide low-income women access to abortion.
For a woman who already struggles financially, the Hyde amendment makes the road to accessing abortion care infinitely more challenging. The cost of the procedure increases over time, meaning that for low-income women it may double or triple because of how much longer it takes to save enough money to pay out of pocket. For 25 percent of these women without insurance coverage for abortion care, they end up with no choice.
And what becomes of the millions of women who are discriminated against under Hyde? According to an eye-opening "Turnaway" study, "when a woman is denied [an abortion], she is statistically more likely to wind up unemployed, on public assistance, and below the poverty line."
The responsibility falls on our elected officials to look at the hard facts about what happens to women who are impacted by this horrible anti-choice policy. But until then, women and their families continue to pay the price.
Check out our graphic in solidarity with the millions of low-income women and families affected by Hyde and share it with your friends: