The third rail of abortion politics is funding

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from MSNBC,

In 1977, then-Congressman Henry Hyde stood before his colleagues and spoke honestly. “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman,” he said. “Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the … Medicaid bill.”

He got his wish, and today, the Hyde Amendment that bears his name bars any public funds going to abortion, with very narrow exceptions and poor women on Medicaid paying the price. The research shows that one in four women on Medicaid who want to end their pregnancies instead give birth because they cannot afford an abortion.

On Tuesday, activists and congressional supporters of abortion rights hope to upset that status quo, if somewhat symbolically. Congresswomen Barbara Lee of California, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, and Diana DeGette of Colorado are introducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act into the House.

“Regardless of how someone personally feels about abortion, none of us, especially elected officials, should be interfering with a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decision just because she is poor,” said Lee in a statement.

At the elected officials’ sides is a coalition of activists known as All Above All, which includes the big organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, as well as grassroots groups like Black Women’s Health Imperative and URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity. These groups are forced to spend most of their time trying to bat down new state-level and federal abortion restrictions – 282 since 2010 alone, according to the Guttmacher Institute – while still maintaining their opposition to the longstanding ones.

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