This summer, the Hyde Amendment emerged as an issue between the Democratic presidential candidates. For the first time, several Americans have even heard about the Hyde, and no one has been discussing the real-life effects that it has had on low-income individuals.
The Hyde Amendment which was named after the Congressman Henry Hyde who had introduced this policy in the year 1976, denies the women that are enrolled in Medicaid, any insurance coverage for the purpose of abortion care except in rape cases, incest or threat to the life of the woman. And it is well known that a federal prohibition on the use of Medicaid as well as federal funds for a service of healthcare including abortion disproportionately affects the black and the Latina women, the LGBTQ community, young people, immigrants and also the lower-income folks, and prevents them from being able to take personal healthcare decisions which are most suitable for them and their circumstances.
When it was passed, the Congressman Hyde cleared his true intention saying that he would certainly like to prevent, if he could legally, anybody opting for an abortion, whether she be rich, from a middle-class, or poor. Unfortunately, the only way that was available was the Medicaid bill. Three years before, Roe v. Wade had already recognized that ever body had the constitutional right of opting for abortion, but the Hyde Amendment now meant that not all women would be able to afford that right.
Since then, the anti-abortion politicians in the Congress have expanded on the Hyde Amendment for also banning the coverage for Medicare as well as the Health Insurance Program enrollees of Children; federal government employees; volunteers of Peace Corps; the Native Americans; federal prisoners; the immigrants that are held in the detention centers; women getting their healthcare from health centers which are publicly funded; the survivors of human trafficking; and also the low-income women living in Washington, D.C.