ACLU Statement on Removal of Hyde Amendment from President's Budget

The Budget Proposal Eliminates the Hyde Amendment, a Ban on Insurance Coverage for Abortion, for the First Time in Decades

May 28, 2021 2:30 pm

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WASHINGTON — President Biden released his first full budget proposal today, eliminating the Hyde Amendment, a harmful ban on insurance coverage for abortion — marking the first time in decades that a president has taken this critical step.

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

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. The president’s campaign reiterated that promise throughout the election season. In 2020, ACLU joined with All* Above All Action Fund to send postcards from 15,000 voters around the country urging Biden to strengthen that commitment. Today’s budget removes harmful abortion coverage bans for those enrolled in Medicaid and for D.C. residents, though it continues other restrictions including the Weldon Amendment, a provision that works alongside Hyde to interfere with abortion coverage.

The following is a statement from Georgeanne Usova, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union:

“Today’s budget marks a historic step toward finally ending the coverage bans that have pushed abortion care out of reach and perpetuated inequality for decades. Now it is up to Congress to pass annual spending bills that are free from all harmful abortion restrictions, including both the Hyde and Weldon amendments. With abortion access under unprecedented attack around the country, lifting discriminatory barriers to care is a matter of racial and economic justice that cannot wait. No one should be denied abortion care because of where they live, how much money they have, or how they get insurance.”

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