The incoming chairwoman of an influential committee in the House of Representatives has concluded that “the time has come” to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.
The House Appropriations Committee held a hearing Tuesday to discuss “abortion affordability.” Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who will serve as chairwoman of the committee in the 117th Congress, began the hearing by ripping into the Hyde Amendment as a “discriminatory policy.”
“For more than 40 years, [the Hyde Amendment] has been routinely extended every year as a legislative rider but the time has come in this current moment to reckon with the norm, with the status quo, view it through the lens of how it impacts communities of color,” she said. “More than half (58%) of the women affected by the Hyde Amendment are women of color. Almost one-third (31%) are black, 27% Latina, nearly one-fifth (19%) Asian-Americans and Pacific Islander women as well as indigenous women also covered by Medicaid.
“While the Labor/HHS/Education bill has carried the Hyde Amendment every year since 1976, this is the last year. The inequities in our country’s healthcare system that have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic all further expose the impact of the Hyde Amendment. All of these issues deny the humanity of people of color and their ability to do well for their families and their communities.”
A majority of the witnesses who spoke at the hearing echoed the points made by DeLauro and the other Democrats on the committee. One of the witnesses, Dr. Herminia Palacio of the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, maintained, “The Hyde Amendment builds on a legacy of racism. There is a direct line from the reprehensible policies of our past, such as forced sterilization of black women to policies like the Hyde Amendment today.”