Repeal Hyde Already!

Typically I don’t do separate posts here for my Best of the Left Podcast activism segments, but this one is particularly relevant to the reproductive justice topics I routinely cover at Katie Speak. The importance of repealing the Hyde Amendment cannot be overstated. I’m including both the YouTube segment and the text along with the petitions and organizations doing the important work. Read, listen and share.

As read by Jay! Tomlinson, BOTL creator/producer:
Affluent women in this country have always had access to the full slate of reproductive care, including abortion. As reproductive justice reporter Andrea Grimes writes at RH Reality Check, abortion is not the alternative to parenting, it is the alternative to pregnancy. It is a medical condition that should be attended to by a patient and their physician. Those with means have always viewed it as such and treated pregnancy and the decision of whether or not to carry to term with the privacy our nation’s Constitution dictates and the Roe v Wade decision affirmed.

37 years ago last month, however, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, taking the right to choose away from those who happen to be struggling financially at the time they seek care. Financial insecurity is already a factor in creating conditions which lead to unintended pregnancy. Those with chaotic lives due to low-income work schedules, inadequate education surrounding preventative care and the simple lack of doctors and clinics located in disadvantaged areas are the most likely to need abortion care. Denying access to those relying on Medicaid for their health insurance has strained resources at the local, state and federal level while further weighing down communities already burdened economically.

The Center for American Progress released a study on which groups are affected most by Hyde. The results will likely surprise no one listening to this show. From their report: “the Hyde Amendment intentionally discriminates against poor women, who are disproportionately women of color. In this way, the Hyde Amendment is a policy that not only violates reproductive rights and principles of gender equity but one that undermines racial and economic justice as well.”

In 1980, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall predicted as much in his dissent to the decision which upheld the discriminatory law: The Hyde Amendment was “designed to deprive poor and minority women of the constitutional right to choose abortion. [F]or women eligible for Medicaid – poor women – denial of a Medicaid-funded abortion is equivalent to denial of legal abortion altogether. By definition, these women do not have the money to pay for an abortion themselves.”

It’s long past time to remedy this injustice and restore the right to full reproductive healthcare access to disadvantaged groups. A number of reproductive justice organizations are spearheading this effort through education, petition drives and public political pressure. All Above All, The National Network of Abortion Funds, NARAL Pro-Choice America and others have petitions and forms to contact your legislators — something you can do on your own, as always, at “Contacting the Congress [dot] org.”

As the movement to repeal Hyde grows, the national network of abortion funds are aiding those left without access to care. Texas is in particular need. The Lilith Fund and its amazing volunteers are working overtime to aid the spike of those affected by new state-wide restrictions on doctors and clinics. You can help their efforts by donating or just spreading the word. If you want to get involved closer to home, you can find your local Abortion Fund by visiting “Fund Abortion Now [dot] org” — volunteers and donors are always needed.

Links for today’s campaign will be in the show notes and all the usual places. Visit the BOTL Facebook page for updates on this and other activism opportunities.

All Above All
National Network of Abortion Funds “Demand Justice: Repeal Hyde” Petition
Repeal Hyde Art Project and Indiegogo Campaign
Abortion Funds: Bridging the Gap in Reproductive Health Care Where Texas and The Hyde Amendment Won’t by Amanda Williams

Information for this segment can be found at:
Blog for Choice: The Dangerous Consequences of the Hyde Amendment
The Center For American Progress: “Separate and Unequal, The Hyde Amendment and Women of Color”
National Network of Abortion Funds: Media Coverage of Hyde
Forbes Magazine: “Roe v. Wade Didn’t Just Legalize Abortion, It Made It Our Constitutional Right”
Melissa Harris-Perry Show features abortion funds activist Steph Herold
Care2: 37 Years After Hyde, Abortion Access Still Remains Out of Reach for the Poor by Robin Marty
Fund Abortion Now: #Hyde37 Chat
National Abortion Federation: “Public Funding for Abortion: Medicaid and the Hyde Amendment”
Another Reason to Celebrate Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception: It Helps Reduce Stigma by Lauren Rankin
Why Adoption Needs to Play a Bigger Role in the Reproductive Justice Conversation by Andrea Grimes

Sponsored by the UnFuck it Up Project: “Like” UnFuck It Up on Facebook
Katie Goodman, creator:
Katie Klabusich, activism director:

Hear this clip in context on Best of the Left at:
Episode 767: “Male Insecurity is the Enemy of All (Feminism)”

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