The Hyde Amendment just passed it’s 40th anniversary. It was the first “pro-life” legislation, blocking federal funds from being used to cover abortion through Medicaid. Some states fund it themselves but many states do not, disproportionately affecting low income women from having access to safe and legal abortions.
It’s time to end Hyde.
image via National Network of Abortion Funds
The Hyde Amendment is one of the ugliest manifestations of this deficit of love. One in four poor women seeking abortion is forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Forcing a woman to continue a pregnancy against her will cuts deep for me. It echoes the days when slaveholders would force Black women to bear children to build up the “master’s” human property for profit. It comes as no surprise, either, that for the four decades of Hyde’s shameful legacy, Black women have consistently been among the strongest and most outspoken opponents of bans on abortion coverage. Representative Shirley Chisholm, who broke race and gender barriers in her bid for the U.S. Presidency in 1972, boldly spoke out about the struggles of poor women seeking abortion, saying, “No matter what men think, abortion is a fact of life. Women have always had them; they always have and they always will. Are they going to have good ones or bad ones? Will the good ones be reserved for the rich, while the poor women go to quacks?”
One of my favorite artivism projects out there right now is the Repeal Hyde Art Project. The project aims to raise awareness about the end Hyde movement through art that celebrates and centers the lives and experiences of those most marginalized in society.