Abortion Funds Speak Out on Hyde - National Network of Abortion Funds
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A photo of a group of people gathered together to discuss abortion justice and the Hyde Amendment. One women with long, straight dark hair is in focus and the rest of the group is slightly out of focus. The photo has a yellow tint.

Abortion Funds Speak Out on Hyde

September 27, 2016

A photo of a group of people gathered together to discuss abortion justice and the Hyde Amendment. One women with long, straight dark hair is in focus and the rest of the group is slightly out of focus. The photo has a yellow tint.

After 40 years of the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, members of the National Network of Abortion Funds are speaking out about the localized impact of the harmful policy, and imagining their work without this huge barrier to reproductive justice.


Hoosier Abortion Fund – Indiana

Indiana has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, including an 18-hour waiting period, judicial bypass for minors, required prenatal ultrasound, and a ban on telemedicine for medical abortions. When coupled with the Hyde Amendment’s denial of public health insurance for abortion care, the effects on pregnant people in Indiana are catastrophic. The brunt of Hyde is salt in an open wound, disproportionately impacting Hoosiers who already face significant barriers to accessing the health care they need and deserve, including low-income people, communities of color, immigrants, and trans folks. With 95% of counties lacking an abortion clinic due to targeted laws aimed at patients and providers, the costs of travel and lodging become costly obstacles that make obtaining an abortion in Indiana an inaccessible option for most. Location, income, nor insurance status, should impede pregnant people and their health care decisions – yet every year Congress does not stand up for pregnant people’s right to bodily autonomy and repeal the Hyde Amendment.

Housed out of All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center, the Hoosier Abortion Fund is the first and only statewide, community-based resource providing Hoosiers with financial and practical support (transportation, childcare, and lodging) for their abortions. We believe intrinsically that abortion is a right and not just a privilege for those who can afford it. The Hoosier Abortion Fund is a direct response to dangerous state and federal legislation, like the Hyde Amendment, which tries to keep this basic form of health care out of the hands of those who need it. We trust and enable Hoosiers to make the best decisions for themselves and their families without question or judgment and believe that everyone deserves all-options care and support for all reproductive experiences, including abortion.


Network for Reproductive Options – Oregon

“The Network for Reproductive Options funds abortions primarily in Oregon and Idaho, and the Hyde Amendment and Medicaid access make these two neighboring states seem worlds away from each other. We are so lucky that Oregon decided to expand Medicaid, making more people than ever eligible for state health insurance, and that Oregon has committed to providing state dollars to cover abortion services for Medicaid patients. While patients still struggle with access abortion because of geographic location, private insurance plans that do not cover abortions, and legal permanent residents of less than 5 years and undocumented people being ineligible for Medicaid, we applaud Oregon’s commitment to self determination and body autonomy. In Idaho, the state has decided to not cover the cost of abortions for people on Medicaid, and the state has not expanded Medicaid- leaving many people uninsured, and even those that have state insurance face huge financial barriers to cover an abortion that their health insurance will not. If the Hyde Amendment did not exist, we could spend more of our resources- time, funding and energy on reducing other barriers to abortion people face, and most importantly- working with communities on upstream solutions to ensure that everyone had the resources they needed to have the families they want.”

 Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity – Texas
“Texas has been at the forefront at some of the most historic fights for reproductive rights in our country’s history. With a recent Supreme Court win under our belts, we are in a better position to expand access in our state, but the infrastructure for abortion care is still not meeting the needs of our communities by a long shot. With fewer than 20 clinics left to serve our entire state of Texas, and with Texas refusing to use its own state funding for abortion, the Hyde Amendment is yet another barrier to access that disproportionately harms Lilith Fund’s clients, who are primarily low-income Medicaid recipients, under- or un-insured folks. Hyde hurts our clients and their families because it forces them to pay out of pocket for a procedure that should be recognized by our government as not only a basic human right, but a basic form of medical care that Texans of all socioeconomic backgrounds depend on.”

Joan Bechhofer Fund of Planned Parenthood of Southern Finger Lakes – New York

“As an abortion fund in Upstate New York serving four counties that border Pennsylvania, we are grateful that our state opts to cover abortion for New Yorkers insured through Medicaid. Yet we know from serving our Pennsylvanian clients and our NY clients who don’t have coverage that there is much more work to be done. Restoring insurance coverage of abortion is critical to ensuring our patients are able to fairly make their own personal health decisions.”

Women for Women – Wyoming

“Hyde results in too many Wyoming women either struggling to get or simply not getting the health care coverage they need. Hyde must be abolished to provide more equitable medical care and reduce the cycle of intergenerational poverty that traps too many Wyoming families.”

Texas Equal Access Fund

“People in Texas are facing a lot of barriers to abortion, and the Hyde Amendment is just one of those barriers. Despite a Supreme Court win, we’re still living with the 2013 clinic closures caused by HB2, and even if Hyde were repealed tomorrow thousands of Texans would be without coverage because our state has refused to expand Medicaid and undocumented people cannot access healthcare coverage. But removing Hyde would be a powerful step toward complete reproductive justice nonetheless. Removing Hyde would make a statement that abortion is healthcare; abortion is a human right. Hyde is discriminatory policy — if we as a society are committed to ending discrimination, we must be committed to ending Hyde.”

Emergency Medical Assistance, Inc. – Florida

“Emergency Medical Assistance provide funds to clients based in South Florida.  With the Hyde Amendment, Congress singles out women who are already struggling to make ends meet by limiting their access to a legal reproductive health care procedure. The Zika virus outbreak in Florida really brings this home. If you have private health insurance and financial resources, you will be able to decide with your family whether to carry the pregnancy to term or have an abortion. For those without private coverage, they simply do not have the same choices.  And mosquitoes don’t ask if you have health coverage before they bite you.”

The CAIR Project WASHINGTON, OREGON, IDAHO, ALASKA

“Serving the Northwest, The CAIR Project has seen how the Hyde Amendment harms people in both red states and blue states. Half our abortion funding goes to Idaho, because Idaho politicians currently withhold coverage of abortion care from both public and private health plans (unless a person pays a separate, abortion-only monthly premium). And because the tentacles of Hyde have crept into other federally funded health programs–standing in the way of abortion coverage for federal employees, disabled people, people using Indian Health Service (IHS), and people serving in the military–coverage bans also hurt people in states where Medicaid does cover abortion, like Washington. Washington has 29 federally recognized tribes, and ranks 7th in the nation for states with the most active duty and reserve members of the military. The current coverage bans mean that our hotline gets a lot of calls from service members and their dependents. These bans are unacceptable and cruel. They interfere with people’s personal decisions, and force harsh choices like paying rent or paying for an abortion. It’s long past time to restore coverage of abortion care.”


New Orleans Abortion Fund – Louisiana

The New Orleans Abortion Fund serves women from throughout the Gulf Coast who are seeking abortions at the three remaining clinics and cannot afford the full cost of the procedure.  Louisiana recently expanded Medicaid coverage, giving its citizens access to critical physical and mental health care.  However, political gamesmanship, geographic barriers, and economic inequality keep abortion – an essential part of reproductive health – out of reach for many Louisianans.  Lifting the Hyde Amendment would help to ensure that Louisiana residents who depend on Medicaid, as well as other programs for health care, have access to the full spectrum of essential care.

Additionally, we held our 4th Annual Sex Ed Bingo on September 20, 2017 to call attention to the anniversary of the Hyde Amendment. This annual fundraising event is much-anticipated by our volunteers and community supporters, and returns to Bayou Beer Garden where more than 100 people attended in 2015. 

YELLOWHAMMER FUND – ALABAMA

The Yellowhammer Fund will provide funding for anyone seeking care at one of Alabama’s five abortion clinics and will help with other barriers to access (travel, lodging, etc.) as able.​ ​As a new fund, we plan to start assisting ​clients by the beginning of 2018.​ In Alabama, laws regulating abortion purposefully attempt to make care inaccessible by mandating barriers such as waiting period​s​, ultra-sound​s​, and counseling​. For the 1 million ​Alabamians who are enrolled in Medicaid, the Hyde Amendment places a​n additional​ tremendous burden on people seeking abortion care in our state.​ We believe that​ ​access to abortion shouldn’t be determined by a person’s socioeconomic status, and that every person in Alabama deserves the ability to create the family that’s best for them when it’s best for them. In order to ensure this basic right, the Hyde Amendment must be repealed.


WOMEN’S MEDICAL FUND – PENNSYLVANIA

Elicia Gonzales, Executive Director:

“Pennsylvania is a state where taxpayer funds have been misspent by Real Alternatives – the group that uses State funds to support fake clinics. The fact that the State supports these harmful crisis pregnancy centers, yet refuses to rid of Hyde, demonstrates its willingness to punish people simply for being poor. We at the Women’s Medical Fund will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our community to fight for every person to have access to abortion, have the right to have children, and have the right to raise their families in healthy communities. We will not rest.”


MISSISSIPPI REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM FUND

“The majority of our callers are impacted by Hyde or Hyde inspired funding bans. They express so much confusion, hurt and anger at lawmakers who are so callous to try and ensure they can not have agency over their own healthcare.”


KENTUCKY HEALTH JUSTICE NETWORK

“Kentucky takes the Hyde Amendment a dangerous step further by restricting abortion coverage under all private and public insurance plans under any circumstance. The Kentucky Health Justice Network funds abortion and supports Kentuckians towards achieving autonomy in our lives and justice for our communities. We advocate, educate, and provide direct services to ensure all Kentucky communities and individuals have power, access, and resources to be healthy and have agency over our lives.”


Access Reproductive Care-Southeast – Georgia

“When over 90% of our Healthline callers are uninsured or are on Medicaid, there is no question that the Hyde Amendment hurts Southerners.  We are no longer in a position to sit back and allow anti-choice legislation and rhetoric falsely represent the narratives of Southerners.  The direct service abortion access programs at ARC-Southeast embodies the bold, radical, revolutionary love that represents the way Southerners have cared for our communities when others have actively tried to take our rights away. The time is now for us to speak up and speak out against reproductive injustices that impact our lives daily.  Let’s #BeBoldEndHyde because your zip code, race, gender, region, insurance coverage, or income should not impact your ability to live your best life.”


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