Friday, September 5, 2014

First Step to Abortion on Demand: Overturn Hyde

The fact is that rich women - virtually all-white - have always been able to get abortions. Because if you have the money, you can always find a doctor who will do what you want, laws be damned.
So "legalizing" abortion is really "making available to the vast majority of women" abortion.

Which is why the denial of abortion rights and the murder of Roe v. Wade really started with the Hyde Amendment. Just three years after Roe, Hyde denied medical insurance coverage to women seeking reproductive care that was none of Congress' fucking business.
Dani McClain at The Nation:
On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in August, the All Above All tour bus parked in a busy plaza in the heart of downtown Oakland, California. Around it, activists and advocates milled about handing out literature, collecting petition signatures and attempting to build the ranks of people fighting to secure access to abortion for low-income women.

The bus, which began its national tour in Los Angeles this month, and the coalition behind it are part of the latest effort to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which for nearly four decades has banned the use of federal funds for abortion and limited the options available women who depend on Medicaid for their healthcare coverage.

The ban’s real intent—reversing Roe v. Wade to the greatest extent possible—has been clear from the beginning. After the budget amendment’s passage in 1976, Republican Representative Henry Hyde said, “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the…Medicaid bill.”

Advocates for poor women and women of color have been trying to repeal the Hyde Amendment ever since, arguing that a person’s income level shouldn’t dictate her decision whether to become a parent. Currently, about 9 million women of reproductive age are Medicaid beneficiaries, and advocates use that number to quantify how many are denied access to abortion. Using a bus tour with stops in cities including Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, and a social media campaign, the fifty-plus organizations that make up the coalition want to push a conversation about Hyde into mainstream conversations about abortion rights and eventually into the halls of Congress.

Legislative pushes for repeal have failed in the past, since even Democrats who are otherwise in favor of abortion rights have been unwilling to challenge anti-choice framing that’s put “taxpayer-funded abortion” out of bounds. That’s why a central goal this campaign is to mobilize elected officials who lead on issues of choice but who rarely talk about the need to repeal Hyde, Kalpana Krishnamurthy, policy director at a supporting organization called Forward Together, told me.
“The Hyde Amendment has never been a rigorous part of the pro-choice agenda,” Krishnamurthy said. “We want to make sure that our friends and allies know that it’s a new day and it’s time to take this on.”
Yes, of course it's a huge lift; against the fucking repugs what piece of humane legislation isn't?  But it's way past time to stop slinking away in the face of freakazoid insanity and fight back.
It’s time for legislators to start talking about the exclusion that low-income families have faced for decades, Dreyfus-Pai said. “Roe does not mean as much with Hyde in place.”
 Fuck. Female citizenship and basic humanity don't mean anything with Hyde in place.

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