The Growing Push To End A Decades-Old Policy That Denies Women Their Abortion Rights


September 30, 2014

“People are definitely uneducated about this, and when they hear about it, it really makes them angry,” Kierra Johnson, the executive director for URGE, one of the national groups that helped organize the recent bus tour, told ThinkProgress in an interview. “I think, often, Americans don’t know how far-reaching this policy goes.”

Johnson is referring to the Hyde Amendment, which marks its 38th birthday on Tuesday. That policy, abudget rider that’s been renewed in each federal spending bill since 1976, prohibits federal funding from covering abortion services. That prevents low-income women from using their Medicaid plans to pay for the procedure, and has spawned similar restrictions banning abortion coverage for government employees, Peace Corps volunteers, federal inmates, military personnel, and Native American women.