On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court cemented the constitutional right to abortion in the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade. In the years since this historic decision, access to abortion has been severely restricted due to factors such as geography, mandatory waiting periods, biased counseling, and targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) laws.
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, leaving abortion rights up to the states and giving the greenlight to these abortion bans. On the federal level, one of the most notable and longstanding restrictions is the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal insurance coverage of abortion services.
Now more than ever, Congress must do whatever they can to preserve abortion access at the federal level. We must end federal coverage bans on abortion to ensure equitable reproductive health care access. Urge Congress to pass the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act (EACH Act) [H.R. 2234/S. 1021].
The Supreme Court decision overturning Roe and Casey means 26 states are likely to ban abortion including 13 states with laws that will soon go into effect or have already banned or severely restricted abortion. At the federal level, one of the most notable longstanding restrictions on abortion is the Hyde Amendment, which was first passed in 1976--only three years after Roe. Congress has renewed the Hyde Amendment every year since.
The Hyde Amendment bans federal insurance coverage of abortion services with narrow exception. This means that pregnant individuals receiving health insurance through Medicaid and other federal plans (including TRICARE and Indian Health Service) are denied the ability to use health insurance to cover abortion. The Hyde Amendment disproportionality impacts individuals who already face systemic barriers to obtaining health care—overwhelmingly People of Color, immigrants, pregnant people in the LGBTQ+ community, individuals living in rural areas, and young people.
The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance or EACH Act was introduced by Representative Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL) on March 25, 2021. The EACH Act seeks to repeal the Hyde Amendment, and would guarantee that every person who receives health care or insurance through a federal plan or program has coverage for abortion. Tell your members of Congress to co-sponsor the EACH Act (H.R. 2234/S. 1021).
Jewish Values: Our tradition instills in us the importance of kavod ha'briyot, respect for individual dignity. The Hyde Amendment perpetuates inequality in reproductive health care and violates this core value by making abortion only accessible to the select few who can afford it.
Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor and immediately pass the EACH Act (H.R. 2234/S. 1021). The EACH Act eliminates federal coverage restrictions on abortion services. Repealing the Hyde Amendment could eliminate one of the many barriers to abortion care and allow the federal government to use federal funds to assist people in getting the care they need.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Lillie Heyman.
This action alert is part of the WRJ-RAC Reproductive Health & Rights Campaign partnership. By signing this alert you will be added to the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) advocacy email lists to be kept up-to-date on these issues.