I have written before about the harms wreaked by the Hyde Amendment, but let me do a quick recap. The Hyde Amendment is a provision that is attached to the annual appropriations law that funds the government. It denies insurance coverage for abortion (except in limited circumstances) to low-income women who are eligible for Medicaid.
The amount of money a woman has or doesn’t have should not prevent her from being able to have an abortion, and yet that is exactly what the Hyde Amendment does. Politicians have been interfering with low income women’s ability to make their own important health care decisions.
This is not right.
Political Interference Harms Latina Women
This political interference with women’s personal decision making is even more troubling because it has a clear discriminatory impact, as it disproportionately affects women of color, including Latinas. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health notes, “Latinas have been especially affected by the Hyde Amendment because many low-income Latinas rely on Medicaid for their health care coverage.”
A Latina who is struggling to pay her bills every month could go into deeper poverty when she is denied insurance coverage of abortion. Indeed, one study showed that one year after attempting to obtain an abortion, women denied an abortion were more likely to live below the federal poverty level and receive public assistance than those who received an abortion.
Time to End this Political Interference
This week, during the 6th Annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice, it’s important to recognize the discriminatory impact of the Hyde Amendment. It’s important to take a moment during this critical week to stand up for the Latinas and other women of color across the country who are denied comprehensive health coverage just because they are poor.
And that’s why we must work together to pass the EACH Woman Act, a bill that would permanently lift the Hyde Amendment.