Voters Tell Biden to End the Hyde Amendment by Delivering More than 15,000 Postcards to his Campaign Headquarters

August 21, 2020 2:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — More than 15,000 voters joined with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Rights for All campaign and All* Above All Action Fund to demand that Biden strengthen his commitment to ending the Hyde Amendment and all abortion coverage restrictions.

Voters from all 50 states and the District of Columbia filled out digital postcards explaining what abortion access means to them, which arrived at Biden’s Philadelphia headquarters throughout the week ahead of his acceptance of the nomination.

Julie S. from Washington wrote to Biden: “Year after year, state after state, access to affordable, safe abortions gets further and further out of reach for millions of folks across the country, particularly people in communities of color and those in poverty. I was excited to hear last year that you reversed your stance on ending the Hyde Amendment, and I want to hold all of my representatives accountable for promises made on the campaign trail.”

Last spring, an ACLU Rights for All volunteer secured a commitment from Biden that, if elected, he would end Hyde — a harmful, decades-old ban on abortion coverage for people enrolled in Medicaid and other insurance programs. This represented a reversal from his decades-long held stance.

While he has reaffirmed this commitment, he has yet to tell voters how, exactly, he will abolish Hyde and other abortion coverage restrictions. During the four days of Biden’s nominating convention, neither the Hyde Amendment nor the word “abortion” were mentioned once.

“In May 2019, you promised an ACLU supporter that you would end the decades-old Hyde Amendment, which purposefully restricts access to abortion for people with low incomes and especially harms communities of color,” wrote Doris H. to Biden. “Every policy, every institution, every decision must be scrutinized to eliminate the hidden and not so hidden aspects of racism. This is essential. ALL women must have the right to choice, to protect the health of their family and bodies. Don’t let us down.”

Jillian D. from New Hampshire shared, “I’m a mother of two young children. After I had the unexpected C-section for my second, I was shocked when I was told that I shouldn’t get pregnant again, as I was at a high risk of my uterus rupturing, since it nearly ruptured during my second labor. My husband and I use birth control, but if I were to become pregnant, I would need an abortion to protect my health, so I can remain the main caregiver to my two small children. Abortion is health care. Please protect access to abortion for everyone, regardless of their income level.”

Meanwhile, the Hyde Amendment continues to target and disproportionately harm people struggling to make ends meet, particularly women of color, as it has for more than 40 years. These are the same communities that face severe health care disparities and are now being hit hardest by the pandemic and economic crisis.

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