A handful of Congresswomen just introduced a bill that would ensure abortion coverage for everyone — regardless of their income, type of insurance or where they live.
This groundbreaking legislation for reproductive justice is the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage In Health Insurance, aka the EACH Woman Act. Introduced by Democratic Congresswomen from California, Illinois, Colorado and New York, the bill has over 70 Congressional co-sponsors as well as the support of 36 women’s health, rights and justice advocacy organization.
This bill has the potential to make a real and meaningful impact on both women and their families. One out of every three women will have an abortion, but not all can either afford or access that specific type of reproductive health care because of various barriers. The EACH Woman Act will help overcome challenges that face many women seeking abortion care.
For over 40 years, since the Hyde Amendment passed, abortion access has continued to be restricted all over the country. The Hyde Amendment specifically restricts abortion coverage under Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP. The Hyde Amendment impacts many women, as recent surveys indicate that one in six women of reproductive age are enrolled in Medicaid.
The bill — which flies in the face of the Hyde Amendment and everything it has done to curtail abortion rights — creates two specific standards for reproductive health. First, the EACH Woman Act ensures that every woman who is insured via the federal government (including Medicare or Medicaid) will be covered for all pregnancy-related care, including abortion. Second, it makes it so federal, state and local legislators cannot interfere with private insurances to prevent them from providing abortion coverage.
A press release from All Above All stressed how this bill can impact not only women, but their families and communities as well.
Whether she has private or government-funded health insurance, every woman should have coverage for a full range of pregnancy-related care, including abortion. When health programs for women with low incomes cover birth control and abortion – not just childbirth – and people can plan if and when to have children, it’s good for them and for society as a whole.
The EACH Woman Act is crucial because it offers up a level playing field. Creating a family and making important life-impacting decisions does not become a matter of circumstance, location, insurance coverage or finances.
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