Whose Choice: How the Hyde Amendment Harms Poor Women

One in 10 women in the United States depends on Medicaid for their healthcare coverage. But, because of a 1976 measure called the Hyde Amendment more than a million women have been denied funds to cover an abortion—a legal medical procedure that only women need, and that one in three will have in their lifetime.

For the past 34 years, the Hyde Amendment has been used to ban the federal government from spending money on abortion with very few exceptions. The Hyde restrictions make it extremely difficult for poor and low-income women to finance abortion services and severely limit their right to reproductive healthcare.

The Report >
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The Report

How does Hyde affect a woman, the family she is working to take care of, and her community? Those are the questions the Center for Reproductive Right's report, WHOSE CHOICE? How the Hyde Amendment Harms Poor Women, answers as it documents just how damaging this policy has been and promises to be.

The U.S. government has a responsibility to respect and ensure each person's right to autonomy, particularly the right to make fundamental decisions about childbearing and family, and to access medical services necessary to lead a healthy life. This report exposes the harms perpetrated by the Hyde Amendment. The interviews with women, abortion clinic counselors, and abortion fund staff described in this report offer insight into the struggles that low-income women endure to pay for their abortions, often forgoing basic necessities for themselves and their families and risking their health. In making a case for repeal, this report also discusses the successes and challenges of a few states that allow state funds to cover abortion.

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Take Action

Right now, a bill called the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" is picking up traction in Congress. It seeks to put the Hyde Amendment permanently on the books while in effect extending bans on coverage for abortion to the private sector. Introduced by Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the bill reaches even further than Hyde and, amongst other things:

  • Codifies the Hyde Amendment and permanently denies low-income women, federal employees, and military women abortion coverage
  • Effectively ends abortion coverage in private employer policies
  • Could undermine women's access to life-saving emergency abortions at state and local public hospitals

The bill already has more than 170 co-sponsors and is picking up traction in the House. We need to stop this bill RIGHT NOW.

Write your Members of Congress and tell them to oppose the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act"!

Take Action!

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Get Involved

For 34 years, the Hyde Amendment has denied poor women the ability to make their own decisions about whether and when to have children by prohibiting federal Medicaid funding for abortions except in very limited circumstances. By singling out abortion coverage from other health care services provided by Medicaid, the Hyde Amendment imposes severe financial hardship on poor women. The struggle to raise funds force many women to delay obtaining services and have later abortions. Others are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.

You can get involved and help the Center repeal Hyde by simply posting a Tweet or telling your friends about this report on Facebook. Explore the options below and make a difference today.


Share Our Hyde Video

Share our video on your website or blog by simply grabbing the embed code on the Vimeo website, or post the video to your FaceBook or MySpace page using this link: http://vimeo.com/15141054

Note: On the Vimeo site, just scroll over the video and look for the "embed" button on the right side of the frame.

You can also share the video through YouTube.

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Update Your Facebook Status

Get the word out about the Hyde Amendment by posting one of our Facebook status updates:

Political attacks on pregnant women seeking abortions are direct assaults on women’s autonomy. Fight back with us: http://bit.ly/ckTEXn

Low-income pregnant women seeking an abortion are living in agony, waiting 2 – 3 weeks to obtain an abortion. It doesn’t have to be this way! Read more at http://bit.ly/cztjis

Emotional and financial hardship are just part of the suffering caused by the Hyde Amendment over the last 34 years. And things will get worse if we don't act: http://bit.ly/ckTEXn

The Hyde Amendment disregards the basic rights of disadvantaged women who happen to be pregnant in the U.S. Read more at http://bit.ly/cztjis

Check out a timeline of the Hyde Amendment, which has routinely denied women their basic right to obtain an abortion and continues to affect women nationwide. Read more at http://bit.ly/dyakw3

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Tweet Three Times about Hyde

Get the facts out about the Hyde Amendent to the Twitterverse by using one of our Tweets or creating your own. Make sure to include #hyde after your Tweets!

34 years of the Hyde Amendment and women still suffer quietly. Let’s break the silence: http://bit.ly/cztjis #p2 #fem2 #hyde

To see what 34 years of suffering under the Hyde Amendment looks like, check this out: http://bit.ly/chRSGf #p2 #fem2 #hyde

A powerful timeline of the 3+ decades of hardship caused by the Hyde Amendment: http://bit.ly/dyakw3 #p2 #fem2 #hyde

2006: the fed gov’t covered 85 abortions. Total. States funding them covered 177K. How many suffer in the other states? http://bit.ly/chRSGf #hyde

58% of Medicaid-eligible women say paying for abortion creates serious hardship. Who’s to blame? http://bit.ly/chRSGf #p2 #fem2 #hyde

Did you know the Hyde Amendment forces women to wait weeks for an abortion as they pull together funds? Learn more: http://bit.ly/cztjis #hyde

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Tell A Friend

Ask Your Friends to Talk About Hyde

Help us spread the word about how dangerous the Hyde amendment has been and promises to continue to be by asking your friends and family to join the conversation.

Click here to send them an email >

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Organization: Hyde—30 Years is Enough
Website: http://www.hyde30years.nnaf.org/
Description: a network of grassroots groups that help women and girls pay for abortions
Opportunities: Attend/ participate in advocacy campaigns / donate

Organization: New York Abortion Access Fund
Website: http://www.nyaaf.org/
Description: NYAAF (New York Abortion Access Fund) is an all-volunteer organization based in NY
Opportunities: Volunteer for NYAAF or donate

Organization: Chicago Abortion Fund
Website: http://www.chicagoabortionfund.com/about.php
Description: Chicago abortion fund fights to overturn economic barriers to reproductive choice.
Opportunities: Donate

Organization: National Network of Abortion Funds
Website: http://www.nnaf.org/intro.html
Description: An organization that believes that the legal right to abortion is only meaningful when women have the resources to obtain abortion services.
Opportunities: Become a volunteer with the local Abortion Fund or donate

Organization: Abortion Access Project
Website: http://www.abortionaccess.org/
Description: The Abortion Access Project is committed to access to safe abortion for all women in the U.S.
Opportunities: Donate

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