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House lawmakers call on Trump to end Hyde amendment

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and more than 100 other House lawmakers in a letter sent Monday called on President-elect Donald Trump not to include the Hyde amendment in his fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget, the Los Angeles Times' "Essential Politics" reports (Wire, "Essential Politics," Los Angeles Times, 12/20).

Background

During his campaign, Trump pledged to defund Planned Parenthood and appoint antiabortion-rights justices to the Supreme Court in an effort to overturn Roe v. Wade. In addition, Trump said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (PL 111-148), under which almost all insurance plans are required to cover all birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/19).

Trump also promised to make the Hyde amendment into permanent law (Landsbaum, "The Cut," New York Magazine, 12/20). According to "Essential Politics," the Hyde amendment bars the use of federal funding for most abortion care. It has been used over the years to prohibit people who receive federally funded health care coverage from accessing abortion care, including Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries, federal employees, Peace Corps members and female inmates ("Essential Politics," Los Angeles Times, 12/20).

Letter details

In the letter, Lee and the other House lawmakers urged Trump to end Hyde and eliminate other restrictions on abortion and abortion coverage included in his proposed FY 2018 budget ("The Cut," New York Magazine, 12/20).

The letter states, "Every person should be treated with dignity, compassion and respect -- and that includes upholding a woman's right to make her own decisions about whether to end a pregnancy. We urge you to begin your presidency with a clear and bold statement that abortion coverage bans have no place in our public policy."

In the letter, the lawmakers explained that many of the individuals affected by Hyde have low incomes and are minorities (Wire, "Essential Politics," Los Angeles Times, 12/21). The lawmakers concluded, "For too long, low-income women and women of color have shouldered the burden of our country's restrictive reproductive health laws. Together, we ask that you send a strong signal that this will no longer be the legacy of the United States" ("The Cut," New York Magazine, 12/20).