The EACH Woman Act Expanding Abortion Access Was Just Introduced in Congress
In a long overdue step to ensuring access to health insurance coverage for abortion for low-income women, Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Diana DeGette (D-CO) today introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act, which would make insurance coverage for abortion available to all women.
All Above All, a coalition of over fifty organizations, including The Feminist Majority, joined several members of Congress, including Rosa DeLauro, Lois Frankel, Mike Honda, Brenda Lawrence, and Jerrold Nadler, to make the bills introduction and to condemn federal restrictions that prevent low-income women from being able to access safe abortion care.
"The amount of money a woman has or doesn't have should never prevent her from having an abortion," said Congresswoman Lee.
Since the passage of the Hyde amendment in 1976, Congress has withheld coverage for abortion services from women insured through the Medicaid program. Approximately 1 in 6 women are enrolled in Medicaid are of reproductive age. To date, only 17 states provide state Medicaid coverage for all or most medically necessary abortions. Medicaid restriction often creates an insurmountable barrier to abortion for women already struggling to make ends meet and disproportionally impacts women of color.
The Act would also prevent federal, state, and local government from restricting insurance coverage of abortion in private health insurance plans, including plans purchased on health insurance exchanges created through the Affordable Care Act. Across the country, legislators have attempted - sometimes successfully - to limit access to abortion by placing restrictions on ACA plans or private insurers, putting women's health at risk, especially low-income women.
"Politically motivated attacks on women's access to abortion must end," said Feminist Majority Policy Director Gaylynn Burroughs. "The EACH Woman Act takes a huge step forward by preventing politicians from playing games with women's lives by deciding which services their health insurance can and cannot cover."