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
Women for Women – Wyoming
Emergency Medical Assistance, Inc. – Florida
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
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 periods, ultra-sounds, and counseling. For the 1 million Alabamians who are enrolled in Medicaid, the Hyde Amendment places an 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.”
“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 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.”