Jan. 31, 2017 – Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) today reintroduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act, alongside Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswomen Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and 100 other Members of Congress. The EACH Woman Act is a piece of legislation which would ensure all women have access to health insurance coverage for abortion services, no matter how much money they make, what insurance plan they have, or where they live.
“No woman should ever be denied her constitutional right to an abortion simply because she cannot afford to pay for one,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
“The EACH Woman Act is a critical step in improving abortion access for low-income women and in sending a strong message that we won’t stand idly by while the current administration and Congress try to take us backwards.”
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The EACH Woman Act—which was initially introduced in 2015 during the 114th Congress–would put an end to dangerous and discriminatory Hyde Amendment— a federal prohibition on Medicaid and Medicare recipients using their health insurance to access safe and legal abortion care except in extremely limited circumstances. First passed in 1976, this discriminatory policy has had a severely disproportionate impact on those who already face significant barriers to health care, including abortion services, such as low-income women, immigrant women, young people, and women of color. While Congress must currently act each year to renew the Hyde Amendment, politicians in the House of Representatives voted just last week to make the policy permanent.
In response to the long-standing discriminatory bans on health care coverage for abortion, reproductive justice, health, and rights organizations launched a bold new campaign, All* Above All, to build support for lifting bans on abortion coverage that disproportionally harm low-income women and communities of color. The Center is proud to be a member of this campaign.