WASHINGTON — Leaders of the House Pro-Choice Caucus reintroduced a bill on Thursday that would allow the use of federal funds for abortions, marking a continuation of their efforts to expand access.
The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage (EACH) Act was first introduced in 2019, but has failed to reach a vote in Congress.
If passed, it would repeal the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which currently bans major federal health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid from providing abortion care coverage except in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, said the amendment disproportionately affects low-income women and women of color.
According to Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights advocacy nonprofit, 20% of women of reproductive age are enrolled in Medicare, and 48% are below the federal poverty level.
“We are introducing our bill, the EACH Act, to repeal the racist, discriminatory ban on abortion coverage,” Lee said.
The reintroduction comes seven months after the Dobbs decision eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion and a few days after what would have been the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that granted it.
House Democrats are in the minority this year, and Republicans are already voting on anti-abortion bills, foreshadowing gridlock that could make it harder to pass abortion rights legislation. However, Rep. Lee said the caucus will continue to introduce bills and raise awareness about Republican extremism.
“When we fight, we win, and no one said this was going to happen overnight,” she said.