On the 43rd anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal money from funding abortions, “Squad” members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., joined former Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., to repeal the amendment.
“I was a staffer in 1977 to the late, great feminist congressman Ron Dellums,” Lee said in the video for The Root. “I knew exactly what this would do, and that would be to deny low-income women and women of color access to the full range of reproductive rights, including abortion.” – Rep. Barbara lee
Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez are shown in a video adamantly supporting the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act (EACH Woman Act). The bill was written in March, by Lee herself, and has gotten 169 co-sponsors since it was introduced in March.
The Hyde Amendment was “an egregious policy rider,” Pressley said, “which does not allow Medicaid to include abortion coverage.”
As the video goes on, Ocasio-Cortez said their effort to repeal Hyde was a defense of Roe v. Wade and women’s right to abortion.
“Our access to reproductive justice and reproductive freedom should not be income-based,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Repealing Hyde means that low-income women, women who are incarcerated, nonbinary people who need access to an abortion can get it, not because they are wealthy but because they are an American.”
In 1976, Illinois Rep. Henry Hyde, introduced in the amendment does not allow for federal money to pay for abortion except in cases of rape and incest. Meghan McCain, conservative commentator, and daughter of the late John McCain, made a statement about it on the talk show “The View.”
“The Hyde Amendment was historically a great compromise between pro-choicers and pro-lifers,”
In June, both Democrats and Republicans, in the House, passed a spending bill to which a Hyde Amendment reauthorization was attached.
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D) and other Florida Democrats have also come out in support of repealing the Hyde Amendment.