U.S: The Hyde Amendment on abortion: four decades of injustice

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September 29, 2016 4:17 PM, News & Observer

By David A. Grimes

The Hyde Amendment denies Medicaid funding for poor women seeking abortion, except in rare circumstances. Forty years ago, and every year since, the U.S. Congress has passed it as a budget rider. As a social experiment, the Hyde Amendment has been a singular failure: It codifies social injustice, harms the most vulnerable among us and drives up costs to society. About 7 million Medicaid-eligible women of reproductive age live in the 32 states that do not cover abortion. Regrettably, North Carolina is one of these.

The amendment’s sponsor, the late Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, opposed reproductive rights. Since the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1973 that abortion was a constitutionally protected civil right, Hyde could attack abortion only through the power of the purse. An elderly, affluent and white man, Hyde was candid about his strategy, “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the ... Medicaid bill.” By default, he targeted poor women, the most vulnerable among us.

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Source: The News & Observer