Dem Rep.: Hyde Amendment Denies Women Their ‘Constitutional Right’ to Abortion

By Eric Scheiner | September 28, 2016 | 4:31pm EDT
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) AP Photo

( - Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) says the Hyde Amendment “has been denying women their constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion” and has been used to deny abortion coverage to “Native Americans and even Peace Corps volunteers.”

“I rise today to call attention to the Hyde Amendment, which for too long has been denying women their constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion,” Bonamici said on the House floor Wednesday.

“For the last 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has created an often insurmountable barrier for women across the country struggling to access affordable health care.”

“It's long past time to do away with this harmful provision which has been expanded over the years to deny coverage to federal employees and their dependents, our military service members, Native Americans, and even Peace Corps volunteers,” Bonamici later added.

“Restricting Medicaid coverage of abortion means about 1 in 4 low income women carry to term an unwanted pregnancy. That is not a decision the government should make for women. There are many things that congress should be doing, but one thing we should not be doing is interfering with the women's constitutional right,” Bonamici said.

The Hyde Amendment forbids the use of federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or when a pregnancy endangers a women's life.

The amendment was first approved in 1976, and has been renewed annually as part of the congressional appropriations process.

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