House Approves Bill Re-Authorizing The Hotly Contested Hyde Amendment

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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The House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday renewing the hotly-contested Hyde Amendment.

Though controlled by Democrats, the house passed the bill within a package of Labor and Health and Human Services appropriations with a vote of 226 to 203, according to Fox News.

No Republicans supported the bill and seven Democrats, including Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, opposed it, the publication reports.

Democratic Reps. Danny Heck of Washington, Ben McAdams of Utah, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Collin Peterson of Minnesota voted against the bill.

The Hyde Amendment bars federal funding for abortions.

Former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his position on the Hyde Amendment June 6 after intense backlash from the Democratic party. The 2020 presidential hopeful’s campaign had confirmed to NBC June 5 that Biden still supported the amendment, causing an outcry from other prominent Democrats.

Left-wing activists claim the amendment disproportionately affects low-income women and women of color. Pro-life activists also say that the abortion industry disproportionately targets women of color. (RELATED: Vast Majority Of Women Affected By Alabama, Georgia Laws Are Black)

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at an event in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jordan Gale

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at an event in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jordan Gale

Pro-abortion groups have also spoken out against Hyde as well as Biden’s former support for the amendment.

“There’s NO political or ideological excuse for @JoeBiden’s support for the Hyde Amendment, which translates into discrimination against poor women and women of color plain and simple,” NARAL tweeted at the time. “His position further endangers people already facing enormous hurdles.”

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund similarly referenced Hyde’s impact on women of color.

“To support Hyde is to block people – particularly women of color and women with low incomes – from accessing safe, legal abortion,” said Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Kelley Robinson in a statement.

EMILY’s List, an American political action committee dedicated to helping Democratic pro-choice candidates obtain office, also voiced concern for women of color.

“This amendment, which blocks federal funding for abortion services with few exceptions and effectively bans abortion for women on Medicaid, which has a disproportionate impact on young women and women of color,” said EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock in a statement.

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