Repealing the Hyde Amendment — in Hyde’s own words.

by Crystal Paradis-Catanzaro

In the inaugural article of my new column for Seacoast Sunday (The Portsmouth Herald/Fosters Daily Democrat), I wrote about the discriminatory nature of the Hyde Amendment, which unfairly targets poor women by restricting access to their legal right to have a safe abortion. It’s a matter of inequality. 

Representative Henry Hyde, author of the Hyde Amendment, said:

I would certainly 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.

Equal access to abortion matters, and the Hyde Amendment specifically targets poor women and families. I support — and I encourage you to support — legislation like the EACH Woman Act (which is co-sponsored by New Hampshire’s own Representative Annie Kuster) that would put an end to the discriminatory Hyde Amendment.

An excerpt from my column:

Since 1979, the Hyde Amendment has been available to hide behind when the conversation about federal funding for family planning of any kind was pushed into a debate on abortion. “Don’t worry,” we could say, “federal Title X funding can’t be used for abortions, only for reproductive health services like breast cancer screenings, contraceptives, education and STD screenings.” This felt like a good way to have the conversation: separate out the most controversial part of the discussion and, in this way, perhaps more easily advocate for other basic reproductive health access.

But there is something insidious about accepting this premise and allowing the conversation to be divided in this way — restricting access to medical care for millions of women due to the personal objections of a vocal minority.

I encourage you to look for the voices of the underrepresented in the conversations your decision makers are having. Please join me in telling your elected representatives to support legislation like EACH Woman Act and to repeal the Hyde Amendment if equal access to reproductive health care matters to you, too.

Read the full opinion column on seacoastonline.com here: Framing the Conversation on Women’s Health.

You can also find this piece on Medium, supplemented with supporting links: Equal Access to Abortion Matters. Repeal the Hyde Amendment.

Thanks for reading.