Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) launched June 15’s petition to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal money for abortions, arguing that the limitation is overwhelmingly harmful to low-income Americans and females of color, according to The Hill.
“It’s not the 70s anymore. This is 2019, and none of our leaders should be willing to stand by a policy that disproportionately harms low-income Americans and people of color just to suit the interests of anti-choice zealots,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in an email to supporters.
“That ends now. We’re going to fight to repeal the Hyde Amendment, and let people access the care that they need. Sign your name if you stand for repealing the Hyde Amendment,” she added.
The Hyde Amendment’s chief sponsor in 1976 was Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.).
Hyde Amendment is explained by The Associated Press:
It states that Medicaid—the taxpayer-funded program for poor Americans—won’t pay for abortions unless the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Hyde first introduced it in 1976, shortly after the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalizing the procedure.
Since then, Congress had had to reauthorize it as part of spending bills that fund the government. Democrats have had to live with it—and vote for it—as part of broader spending packages. Leading Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have reasoned that the amendment is the cost of getting other good things in the bills and of keeping the government running.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden reversed course Thursday, June 6, and declared that he no longer supports a long-standing congressional ban on using federal health care money to pay for abortions.
“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment” that makes it harder for some women to access care, Biden said at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Atlanta.