After 40 Years, It’s Time To End The Dark Legacy Of The Hyde Amendment
September 23, 2016 8:06 AM   Subscribe

"The Hyde Amendment was first authored by the late Representative Henry Hyde (a devout Roman Catholic) in 1976. He expressed the desire to outlaw all abortions, but Hyde knew that he could only effectively target women in poor communities." 35 States + D.C. deny a woman’s coverage just because she is poor. #BeBoldEndHyde

The Hyde Amendment Has Been Hurting Women for 40 Years, But Its Days Are Numbered (Cosmopolitan): The Hyde Amendment has been around for so long that many politicians view it as intractable, as though it is nothing more than ugly wallpaper that’s too much of a hassle to replace. Even the Obama administration has indicated as much, calling Hyde a “longstanding federal statutory restriction” and reinforcing Hyde when the Affordable Care Act was passed. But it’s not an acceptable political compromise to force women struggling financially out of safe abortion care. Nor is it acceptable that the Hyde Amendment forces 1 in 4 poor women seeking an abortion to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (18 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Reason number 14972 elections matter: keeping old Catholic men from having a veto over women's reproductive rights.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:20 AM on September 23, 2016 [46 favorites]

I want local politicians to make severe abortion restrictions a reason to boycott travel to a state. I want artists to refuse to perform in those states.
posted by JLovebomb at 8:27 AM on September 23, 2016 [21 favorites]

Oh, you mean head of Clinton Impeachment Henry Hyde? Yeah, fuck that guy.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:36 AM on September 23, 2016 [14 favorites]

Is Cosmopolitan suddenly doing really awesome reporting the past few years, or have they always been doing really awesome reporting and I just didn't notice due to unthinking misogyny?

And yes, please I'd love to see the Hyde Amendment eradicated. Evil motherfucker.
posted by sotonohito at 9:42 AM on September 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm 46 years old. I have not had a health insurance policy which covered abortion in any circumstance other than to clear up an incomplete miscarriage since I was in my 20s. I am so ashamed of my generation's failure to safequard the rights to contraception and abortion.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:01 AM on September 23, 2016 [13 favorites]

Rancid bastard—I'm willing to bet that even the worms wouldn't eat his fat, bloated corpse, the worms having higher standards than Hyde himself.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 10:16 AM on September 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm grateful to President Obama for keeping the Hyde Amendment intact. Hopefully Tim Kaine can persuade Clinton to do the same.
posted by BurntHombre at 10:21 AM on September 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

BurntHombre, I think Secretary Clinton has her own mind made up about an amendment that is classist, racist, and harmful.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:27 AM on September 23, 2016 [23 favorites]

When abortion first became legal in 1973, virtually all women had the ability to obtain an abortion. The Medicaid program, which covers health care for low-income people in the U.S., covered abortion just as it did other medical procedures.

The Hyde amendment stopped that. Abortion is the only medical procedure which has ever been medically banned from Medicare for political reasons.

I think it's criminal that Obama kept the Hyde amendment, and I will be ridiculously disappointed in Hillary if she follows suit.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:28 AM on September 23, 2016 [25 favorites]

The Vatican knighted him in recognition of his support for political issues important to the Roman Catholic Church.

posted by dazed_one at 11:05 AM on September 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

BurntHombre Well, my first reaction was a semi-articulate shriek of rage. I'll try to do better than just repeating "FUCK YOU" over and over, though I don't really think you deserve better or any rational talk can penetrate the walls of misogyny surrounding your mind the mods don't need the headache of cleaning up that stuff.

So let me try something a bit less emotionally charged.

The Hyde Amendment doesn't stop abortion, it merely punishes and degrades the poorer women in America. If you oppose abortion than the Hyde Amendment does nothing to help your cause.

If you imagine that somehow your tax dollars must remain pure and unsullied, untainted by being used for abortion, than I'd like to ask what makes you so special that you get to decide that for your tax dollars but I don't get to decide that my tax dollars shall be unsullied by spending on drone warfare, or the War on Drugs?

The sheer arrogance of demanding that the entire nation kowtow to your religious beliefs while simultaneously denying anyone else that privilege is sickening.

If you're against abortion, how much money and time have you devoted to getting reliable contraception into the hands of poor women? If the answer isn't "lots" then you aren't really against abortion. We know this because we know, via cold facts and empiricism, that the only thing which reduces the abortion rate is increased availability of contraception.

You can want to both deny people contraception and have the abortion rate go down, but you can't have that. You must pick your priorities? Which is more important to you, stopping people from having sex in a way you disapprove of, or reducing the abortion rate? If you chose to prioritize stopping people from having sex in a way you don't approve of then you can't claim you think abortion is of supreme importance and overrides a woman's bodily autonomy.

You have to pick one or the other, so which is it?

Are you after a reduced abortion rate, or are you just after feeling smugly superior and reveling in your ability to punish poor women?
posted by sotonohito at 11:06 AM on September 23, 2016 [92 favorites]

sotonohito: in honor of your comment, I have given another donation to The Chicago Abortion Fund and NARAL.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:28 AM on September 23, 2016 [20 favorites]

***applause for sotonohito**

When I first heard of Henry Hyde, and the amendment, it was while I was deep in the antichoice movement as a young and very confused college freshman. He was presented as a saintly, good-hearted man, who just hated to see those babies die, and we were repeatedly and explicitly told that his amendment was there to just try to stem the tide of babykilling; it wasn't enough, but it was better than nothing.

Nowhere, in any of that, were the women affected mentioned. Certainly not their race, or circumstances. "Don't let your tax dollars be used for murder!" was really what it came to, in terms of argument. But as with almost all discussions of abortion, the lives, needs, and opinions of the women involved were utterly disregarded and made invisible.

When I did think of those women, it was uncomfortable. According to the creed of that movement, I must regard them as, well, bloodthirsty, insane, or very misguided. As a good Christian, I was not supposed to hate them, just shake my head sadly while believing that they were committing murder.

Of course my understanding of pregnancy's many vagaries and outcomes was woefully simplistic; my understanding of poverty, race and sexism even more so. I did have a lot of compassion, but the antichoice movement told me to direct it at imaginary babies instead of at real women.

In that, Hyde was a sort of role model. He had endless compassion for the phantom babies never born, and none at all for the ones that made it to earth or their families.
posted by emjaybee at 11:49 AM on September 23, 2016 [15 favorites]

legal ≠ accessible

A legal right is only so much bullshit lipservice if those who need that right don't have the ability to exercise it.

At the federal level, since its initial passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976, Congress has withheld most coverage from people who qualify for such programs: Medicaid-eligible individuals and Medicare beneficiaries; military families; federal employees and their dependents; Peace Corp volunteers; Native Americans; persons in federal prisons and immigration detention centers; and residents of the District of Columbia. And don't get me started on the rest of the obstetric "care" received by military families, prisoners, and those subject to Indian Health Services.

Because of broad social and economic disparities and existing inequalities around gender, race, and income, restrictions on Medicaid coverage of abortion disproportionately impact people of color, particularly Black and Latinx people. Denial of abortion coverage has a devastating effect on families already struggling to make ends meet. A person - and cisgender women aren't the only people who seek abortion - who attempts to access abortion services and is denied is three times more likely to fall into poverty than a person who is able to get the care they need. Those seeking to restrict abortion count on a ticking clock and shrinking windows - with every few days that pass, an abortion becomes more expensive (CASH ONLY, folks), and fewer clinics will perform them - and denying coverage compounds that stranglehold.

Abortion is health care.
Health care is a basic human right.
posted by sutureselves at 5:29 PM on September 23, 2016 [9 favorites]

Congress members casually compare abortion to slavery, black genocide, and killing puppies
A House Judiciary Committee hearing on abortion Friday morning took a bizarre turn when, while discussing women of color who have abortions, Republican Congress members brought up the subjects of slavery, black genocide, and a litter of puppies.

And the response from Kierra Johnson, executive director of URGE (Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity), a black woman and the panel’s only pro-choice witness, made clear how offensive many women of color might find those remarks to be.


Then [Rep Steve] King [IA-R] turned to Johnson and asked, without preamble: “If one were to be there at the delivery of a litter of puppies, and as a puppy was partially delivered, took a device and either crushed the skull or sucked the brains out of that baby puppy, would you be committing a crime in most states?”


Later, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) invoked the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision to suggest — as many Republicans and conservatives often do — that abortion is like slavery because women treat fetuses like “property.”

Johnson’s response to that idea, which again sparked applause from the room, was: “It’s interesting that we’re bringing up slavery in this space. When you own somebody’s decision-making, you own them.”
Dear Rep King: Please shut the fuck up forever on the subject of women and women's health care and...everything, really.
posted by rtha at 5:57 PM on September 23, 2016 [14 favorites]

SecretAgentSockpuppet :::::--I think it's criminal that Obama kept the Hyde amendment, and I will be ridiculously disappointed in Hillary if she follows suit.--

Well, it wasn't actively "kept" as your sentence infers; it was more a blackmail outcome. Do you remember Bart Stupak by any strange chance?????? He was the conservative democrat who literally held the fate of the ACA in his hands. The ONLY reason Stupak gave his vote to the 60 to overcome a filibuster and move the legislation forward was because Obama agreed to a signing order ensuring no federal money would be used for abortions. Obama (and the rest of the protagonists in favour of an abortion-language-free ACA) had NO FUCKING CHOICE.
posted by peacay at 10:07 PM on September 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

peacay Yes, but that's just one more in the extremely long list of reasons why the instant the Democrats have a 51 vote majority in the Senate they need to immediately get rid of the filibuster.

They keep trying to excuse it by claiming that someday, if the Republicans have a majority and the issue is super duper bad they'll use it for good. But that's never happened. The Democrats can't manage to actually filibuster jack shit, any time they cry the Republicans threaten to get rid of it and the Democrats cave.

So let's just get rid of it, the only party it helps is the Republicans, and it enables scumbags like Stupak and Lieberman to hold good bills hostage.
posted by sotonohito at 6:12 AM on September 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

« Older The Brussels Business - Who Runs the EU ? - 2012...   |   Arthropods now possibly able to employ Archimedes... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments