H*yas for Choice (HFC) held a demonstration in Red Square today to protest the Hyde Amendment and other “legal barriers to choice,” such as counseling, mandatory delays, parental consent/notification laws, and what HFC refers to as “procedure bans.”
Passed in 1976, the Hyde Amendment effectively prohibited federal funding for abortions, and has been upheld by Congress for the last 40 years. This means that those with federally-funded health insurance, folks on Medicaid, members of the military, etc. are unable to use their insurance to pay for abortion.
The Hyde Amendment has recently become a more popular topic for the pro-choice movement, even receiving attention from Hillary Clinton. It had been ignored in the past, largely because those most affected were poor women on Medicaid, and pro-abortion advocates tend to be those with leisure time.
I find the categorization of Hyde as a “barrier to choice” problematic. The Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayer-funded abortion. It allows those who are ideologically and morally opposed to abortion to know that their tax dollars are (relatively) safe from being used to further causes they are fundamentally opposed to. If someone with federal insurance would like an abortion, they can get one. They’ll have to pay for it out of pocket, and not with the money of hard-working Americans.
Pro-choicers ignore two things: 1) The Hyde Amendment has saved 2 million unborn lives. It is absolutely outrageous to protest a law that has saved the lives of 2 million people. One of those two million people could be a family member or a friend. 2) Pro-choice organizations are able to solve the “problems” of the Hyde Amendment themselves, but would rather the government and the American people bear the burden. Planned Parenthood could offer discounted rates for those with federal insurance. To my knowledge, they choose not to do so, regardless of the fact that Planned Parenthood makes a profit.
The Hyde Amendment protects the conscience of pro-life Americans. Though pro-abortion advocates attack Hyde, they ignore their abilities as individuals to make a change, and choose to demonize pro-life politicians instead. While this is an interesting strategy, it is ultimately unproductive and a waste of time for all involved.