OB-GYN to Congress: Repeal the Hyde Amendment, Not Obamacare

Source: Time

Sept. 25, 2017

The rule is 41 years old this week and must be eliminated

As an obstetrician-gynecologist, I love bringing essential care to the women I work with. Tragically, there are certain federal restrictions that prevent me from being able to provide all my patients with the services they need and deserve, no matter how motivated I may be to help.

The Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act currently being considered by the Senate would make these restrictions even more severe, threatening reproductive health care coverage for my patients and for people nationwide. Yet even if Republicans fail in their efforts to dismantle the ACA, the fight for access to affordable and equitable reproductive health care, especially abortion care, will be far from over. The ongoing deliberation around comprehensive reproductive health care has heard the voices of politicians and angry voters alike — but not the voice of doctors. We have spoken out, again and again, against a damaging policy that must be revoked: the Hyde Amendment.

The Hyde Amendment — which was passed 41 years ago this week — withholds abortion coverage from those reliant on the government for their insurance, and its renewal is included in the Graham-Cassidy bill. Those impacted include, but are not limited to, those enrolled in Medicaid, federal employees, military personnel, the list goes on. Except in the limited cases of rape, incest or life endangerment, patients who come to me and fall into any of these broad sweeping categories are unable to access affordable abortion care. Members of Congress have the opportunity to change this harmful policy each year when Hyde has to be renewed, but so far, they have failed.

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