Remembering the origins of the Hyde Amendment
June 25th, 2012
The last week of June is a bad one in the history of women’s rights.
Two events bookend this dismal week.
First, on June 24, 1976, Representative Henry Hyde introduced the devastating amendment that bears his name. (Congress adopted the Hyde Amendment later that year, cutting off federal Medicaid funding for abortion.)
Then, on June 30, 1980, the Supreme Court upheld the Hyde Amendment in a decision called Harris v. McRae.
Although the Court ruled against the women and health care providers who brought the lawsuit, four of the nine justices on the Court wrote passionate dissenting opinions expressing their conviction that the Constitution does protect Medicaid funding for abortion.
Today, the National Network of Abortion Funds and our member funds across the country fight to ensure that every woman, regardless of how much money she has, can make her own decisions about pregnancy, abortion, and motherhood.
We help women change their lives. We help pay for abortions, we help women find the resources they need, and we work for fair laws that respect the lives and futures of all women.