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Labor HHS Subcommittee will discuss ending a discrimininatory abortion restriction and expanding access to safe, legal abortion services, regardless of income

Washington, DC — Tomorrow, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine the harms of the Hyde Amendment, a discriminatory policy that blocks people with Medicaid and other government funded programs from being able to use their federal health insurance to access safe, legal abortion. The hearing will be led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the incoming chair of the House Appropriations Committee. This monumental hearing on the dangers of the Hyde Amendment will feature testimony from Dr. Herminia Palacio, the president and CEO of Guttmacher Institute, Dr. Jamila Perritt, the president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health, and Ms. Amanda Beatriz Williams, the executive director of Lilith Fund.  

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Tomorrow’s historic hearing is a crucial step towards Congress finally ending the discriminatory and racist Hyde Amendment. For more than 40 years, this policy has put the government in control of a personal health care decision for people with low incomes. Because of centuries of systemic racism, homophobia, and transphobia, people who use Medicaid are disproportionately Black, Latino, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The Hyde Amendment exacerbates the systemic barriers these people face. Access to and coverage of safe, legal abortion and any other health care should never be determined by your socio-economic status.

“We applaud Chairwoman DeLauro for conducting this critical hearing. We thank All* Above All and the reproductive justice movement for fearlessly leading on this issue. And we call on Congress, and the incoming Biden-Harris administration, to work to end the Hyde Amendment once and for all.” 

While always discriminatory and racist, the Hyde Amendment orignally applied only to federal Medicaid coverage of abortion, but over the years Congress has extended it to deny abortion coverage to federal employees and their dependents, military service members, Native Americans, Peace Corps volunteers, immigrants, residents of Washington, D.C., and other populations that rely in part or in whole on the federal government for their health coverage or care.

While control of the Senate remains unclear, the overwhelming election of reproductive health champions Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who both support the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, along with the pro-reproductive health majority’s victory in the House, sent a clear mandate: voters demand policies that expand access to sexual and reproductive care. 77% of Americans support the right to safe, legal abortion, and two-thirds of young people support Medicaid coverage of abortion.

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.

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