There’s no denying that it has been a rough ten days. But in the darkness there have been points of light as communities find ways to support each other and resist together. Today that light takes the form of the EACH Woman Act, which was introduced in Congress this afternoon. In the midst of so many anti-women and anti-health care attacks, the EACH Woman Act takes a stand against the anti-abortion politicians that want to make it difficult—if not impossible—to access abortion.
The Crucial Impact of EACH
For more than four decades the Hyde Amendment has prohibited health coverage of abortion for individuals enrolled in Medicaid, using income as a basis to deny some individuals access to abortion. In fact, because of the Hyde Amendment and similar restrictions, nearly 29 million women of reproductive age do not have insurance coverage of abortion. Medicaid is a critical source of health coverage for low-income individuals and their families. In fact, 46% of women ages 18-64 enrolled in Medicaid live below the poverty level—that means making $12,082 per year or less for a single person. The Hyde Amendment makes it impossible for many of these individuals to access abortion. In the first twelve weeks, an abortion can cost up to $1500 and the price increases with each subsequent week of pregnancy. For many of the 29 million impacted by coverage bans, that cost barrier is insurmountable. And the impact is felt disproportionately by low-income families, people of color, immigrants, and young people. The EACH Woman Act, or the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, would lift these bans that deny insurance coverage of abortion and ensures that the decision to have an abortion does not depend on a woman’s income or how she is insured.
A Bold Agenda Moving Forward
Over the last ten days, the administration and anti-abortion members of Congress have made their agenda clear—issuing executive orders and introducing bills that would severely restrict or even ban abortion altogether. With the introduction of the EACH Woman Act, Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Jan Schakowsky and more than 100 other members of congress made clear they will stand up and fight back, setting forth their own bold agenda— that each of us should be able to make the decision about abortion with dignity, respect, and compassion and without interference by politicians. We are proud to stand with them.