How Republicans Snuck Anti-Abortion Measures Into the Coronavirus Bailout Bill

The restriction links to the Hyde Amendment, which generally bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion unless the life of the mother is at risk, or in cases of rape or incest. In this instance, the limitation was quietly tacked onto a $150 billion regional stabilization fund designed to help governments cope with the coronavirus, legal experts said.

While those funds can be doled out with plenty of leeway for the most part, the new legislation manages to attach Hyde language by referencing the current appropriations law, “Public Law 116-94,” in an otherwise extremely bland-looking paragraph tucked 600 pages deep into the text.

“The state can’t step in and say, [abortion] is going to be included in the package of healthcare that we are using this stabilization money to cover,” said Leila Abolfazli, Director of Federal Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center. “It ties their hands if they start providing healthcare services.”