Biden’s budget removes Hyde Amendment, potentially allowing federal abortion funding

Protesters protest outside the United States Supreme Court in the morning as the court reviews a major abortion case with a focus on whether a Texas law that imposes strict regulations on doctors performing abortion and clinic buildings interferes with a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy, in Washington on March 2, 2016. REUTERS / Kévin Lamarque

  • The federal budget proposed by President Joe Biden excludes the Hyde Amendment.

  • This provision, passed in 1977, banned federal spending on abortion.

  • Proponents of reproductive rights welcomed the decision.

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Much has been said about what is included in President Joe Biden’s proposal $ 6 trillion federal budget, but proponents of reproductive rights are praising a key omission: a federal ban on funding abortion.

Known as the Hyde Amendment, this ban has been in place since 1977. In practice, this means that the federal government cannot cover the cost of abortions under Medicaid, the federal insurance program used by some 72. millions of low-income Americans. India’s health service, which provides care to more than 2.5 million indigenous people, is also banned from providing abortion services.

A GOP effort to make the ban permanent failed the last time Republicans controlled the House. And in 2016, the Democratic Party formally approved the removal of the ban, named after its original Republican sponsor, Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde.

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, called Biden’s decision “a historic milestone in the fight for reproductive freedom.”

“For too long, the Hyde Amendment has put the government in control of a personal health care decision for many low-income people,” she said.

There is no guarantee that the Hyde Amendment will be tossed aside in the budget ultimately passed by Congress. But if it does, it would have a significant impact on the health care options of low-income women. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one in five women of childbearing age is covered by Medicaid.

The budget proposal “marks a historic step towards a definitive end to the coverage bans that have put abortion care out of reach and perpetuated inequality for decades,” said Georgeanne Usova, senior legislative advisor to the American Union civil liberties, in a press release.

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About Natalee Broderick

Natalee Broderick

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