WASHINGTON- Politicians have no business interfering with young women’s health decisions, and it’s time to repeal the 40-year ban on federal funding for abortions, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said on Wednesday.
Lee, along with Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Rosa DeLauro D-Conn., Diana DeGette D-Colo., and and Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., are trying to pass a bill that would end restrictions on abortion coverage for women.
The Hyde Amendment, which became law 40 years ago on Friday, prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions under Medicaid except in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment to the mother’s life. It also covers federal employees, Peace Corps volunteers, Native Americans and incarcerated women.
“We should be embarrassed that the Hyde Amendment is in it’s 40th year. It’s anti-choice legislation. A woman’s access to abortion should not be determined by her income,” DeLauro said.
Lee said 90 percent of voters ages 18-34 support repealing the act, and believes millennials are key to ending the policy.
“Forty years is enough. It has been a long-term fight, but we have some phenomenal young people fighting for this. Sooner or later it’s going to catch up with the Republicans,” Lee said. “While we’re prepared to fight on the offense and the defense, we’re ready to win this. This is not going to go away.”
There have been regular efforts to repeal the Hyde Amendment, but they have not been successful.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wants to repeal the Hyde Amendment, while Republican nominee Donald Trump supports it.
“Elections truly matter this season,” Schakowsky said. “We need young people, especially young women of color, to come out for their rights.”