May 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden budget omits decades-old ban on federal funds for abortions

planned parenthood clinic
Two volunteers standing at the door of the Planned Parenthood offices in SoHo. Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

President Biden’s proposed 2022 budget lifts a decades-old ban on federal funding for most abortions.

The big picture: Presidential budgets rarely survive intact even with broad support within the party, but they are a reflection of a given administration’s priorities.

  • Many Republicans and some Democrats will push to keep the amendment, named after the late Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois. It became law in 1976 and has been renewed every year since.
  • But House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) has said this is one of her priorities.

Context: Biden campaigned on the promise of overturning the Hyde Amendment, which disproportionately impacts low-income women and many women of color who receive health coverage through government-sponsored plans like Medicaid.

  • Biden previously supported the amendment but reversed course in 2019. "If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's ZIP code," the then-presidential candidate said.

What they're saying: “Today’s budget marks a historic step toward finally ending the coverage bans that have pushed abortion care out of reach and perpetuated inequality for decades,” Georgeanne Usova, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement, The Hill reports.

  • “With abortion access under unprecedented attack around the country, lifting discriminatory barriers to care is a matter of racial and economic justice that cannot wait," she said, adding: "No one should be denied abortion care because of where they live, how much money they have, or how they get insurance.”

“Once a supporter of policies that protect the lives of the unborn and their mothers, President Biden today caters to the most extreme voices within his party," the anti-abortion group, the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement.

  • "The majority of Americans remain opposed to taxpayer-funded abortion," the statement continued. "We urge our congressional allies to be fearless in fighting to preserve the common-ground Hyde principle and to reject any budget that omits vital pro-life protections."
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