Repro Wrap: It’s Time to End Hyde and Other News

Is there really a right to an abortion if for many pregnant people, the option is unreachable because they simply don’t have the financial resources to get one? That’s a question that congressional Democrats are taking on head on this week, as they introduce a new bill called the EACH Woman Act which, if enacted, would allow insurance plans paid for by the federal government – including plans on the insurance exchanges and Medicaid plans – to cover abortion procedures, just like they cover any other health care, and would block legislation that bans abortion coverage in private insurance plans as well.

“Each and every day, the rights of women are under attack in America – today, we push back because every person has a right to healthcare,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a sponsor of the new bill. “Regardless of how someone personally feels about abortion, none of us, especially elected officials, should be interfering with a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decision just because she is poor.”

If passed, the new bill would undo the Hyde Amendment, a yearly amendment that continue to be approved each session that forbids Medicaid or other insurance plans that are in part or totally paid with by governmental funds. The original amendment was proposed by Congressman Henry Hyde, and abortion opponent, who viewed its passage as a good “first step” in eliminating access to safe, legal abortion care.

Abortion rights activists are praising the proactive legislation, but recognize that the likelihood of it passing in today’s political landscape is frustratingly slim. Jezebel’s Anna Merlin called it an “exciting initiative that [has] virtually no chance of survival in our endlessly disappointing political climate,” while MSNBC’s Irin Carmon referred to it as “the third rail of abortion politics,” noting the bill has no Senate sponsors and no chance of passage in that GOP controlled chamber even if it did.

In a just world, the EACH Woman Act would be an easy passage. Sadly, we don’t like in a just world. But maybe this will be the first important step in eventually ending the Hyde Amendment once and for all.

In other news,Wisconsin pushed ahead in passing a 20 week abortion ban, a move that will make Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker happy, as he was looking forward to signing it prior to his official presidential campaign announcement next week.

Speaking of presidents, former President Jimmy Carter said that although Jesus would likely be okay with same sex marriage, his acceptance of most abortions is still in question. However, he didn’t say Jesus would disapprove of all abortions, so he’s still being panned by abortion opponents.

The state of Texas is refusing to budge on clinics potentially reopening now that the Supreme Court put full enforcement of HB2 on hold. Instead, local legal experts argue that although the ASC [Ambulatory Surgical Center] standards are not in place, admitting privileges are still not on hold.

Speaking of court cases, Arkansas has been ordered to pay legal fees in the tens of thousands of dollars to doctors forced to challenge the state’s unconstitutional “heartbeat” ban in court. And the New Jersey finally cracked down on a rogue abortion clinic owner that reproductive rights activists and medical professionals have been filing complaints about for ages.

In Tennessee, the new 48 hour, two doctor’s trip waiting period went into effect, and patients and clinics are already feeling the additional burden – especially those patients coming in from out of state. Meanwhile, a companion to a patient at one Tennessee clinic was arrested for allegedly threatening protesters with a gun after the protesters allegedly harassed him and the patient he was accompanying.

The abortion debate in Ireland continues to escalate. This week protesters battled over whether or not abortion should be legal. Meanwhile, public polling shows that two thirds of Irish respondents say they do not think the procedure should be criminalized.

How much money does Obamacare’s birth control coverage rules save those who are trying to prevent pregnancies? A lot. A whole lot.

Finally in good news, the fate of the only clinic in Mississippi is clear for now - it will not be closing, since the Supreme Court put off reviewing the state’s appeal over the admitting privileges law. The court may change its mind next year, when it has a chance to look at Texas’s case, too.

Photo credit: All Above All


Jerome S
Jerome S1 years ago


Jim V
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

If a woman can't afford an abortion, then why doesn't she use precautions to keep from getting pregnant?

Rachel Nichols
Rachel Nichols3 years ago


nathan KENNY
emma KENNY3 years ago

thanks for sharing

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper3 years ago


Donn M.
.3 years ago

Hope the Hyde amendment stays in effect. If you wish to execute your child YOU take responsibility for your actions and pay for it yourself. Do not expect others to become complicit in your barbaric actions, ah, but you could probably find enough pro-abortionists to help you kill your kid.

sandra vito
Sandra V3 years ago


Peter F.
Peter F3 years ago

Vielen Dank!