ACLU Statement on House Passage of Spending Bill Without Discriminatory Hyde Amendment

The Passage of Spending Bills Without Abortion Coverage Restrictions Marks a Historic Milestone

July 29, 2021 2:45 pm

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WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a package of spending bills without the Hyde Amendment and related abortion restrictions for the first time in decades, a historic step in lifting harmful bans on insurance coverage for abortion.

Specifically, the bill passed today is free from bans on coverage of abortion for those enrolled in Medicaid and for D.C. residents, as well as the Weldon Amendment, a provision that works alongside Hyde to interfere with abortion coverage. This comes as the House is separately advancing additional annual spending bills free from other harmful abortion restrictions.

The following is a statement from Georgeanne Usova, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union:
“Today, the House took a bold and historic step towards a world in which no one is denied abortion care because of how much they make or how they get their insurance, rejecting a discriminatory policy that has pushed care out of reach and deepened inequality for decades. Amid relentless attacks on abortion access in states across the country, it’s urgent for Congress to protect abortion access by removing senseless barriers to care once and for all. Today’s vote brings us closer than ever — and the Senate should follow suit.”

For more than 44 years, the Hyde Amendment and related abortion coverage restrictions have pushed abortion care out of reach for people working to make ends meet, particularly impacting people of color. These discriminatory bans disproportionately harm the same communities that face severe health care disparities as a result of structural inequality in our country and have also been hit hardest by the pandemic.

The House passage comes after President Biden submitted a budget proposal eliminating the Hyde Amendment earlier this year. In spring 2019, an ACLU Rights for All volunteer secured a commitment from Biden that, if elected, he would work to end Hyde, which represented a reversal from his decades-long held stance.

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