03.25.21

Duckworth, Murray, Hirono, Lee Reintroduce EACH Act to Guarantee Abortion Coverage Regardless of A Patient’s Insurance

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), reintroduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Care (EACH) Act, a bicameral bill to guarantee abortion coverage—regardless of how a patient gets their health insurance. The EACH Act ends the Hyde Amendment and lifts unjust abortion coverage restrictions for those who depend on Medicaid and other government-sponsored plans. The bill protects the constitutionally-protected right to abortion and helps ensure everyone—including women of color, women with low-incomes, immigrants, and others—can get the reproductive health care they need.

 

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed a person’s constitutional right to make their own reproductive decisions, making clear that the government has no place getting in between individuals and their doctors,” said Senator Duckworth. “But for decades, conservative lawmakers have worked to whittle down that constitutionally-protected right to the point where it’s now effectively inaccessible for low-income people who rely on Medicaid, for service-members and for millions more Americans nationwide. The Supreme Court didn’t protect these rights only for the wealthy few, and they didn’t say only for those who live in certain states. That kind of discrimination is not right, not fair and it’s certainly not equal—so I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the EACH Act so that every person in this country has equal access to their constitutionally-protected rights, no matter income, race or zip code.”

 

“Today, millions of women who depend on Medicaid and other government-sponsored health plans have the right to an abortion in name only—but not in practice. Despite Roe v. Wade affirming the constitutional right to abortion, federal coverage restrictions have made abortion accessible only to those with means. This is absolutely unacceptable—and it’s having a devastating impact on women of color, women with low-incomes, and immigrants.” said Senator Murray. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the EACH Act, to finally end harmful abortion coverage restrictions and address the racial and economic inequities that prevent so many patients from getting the reproductive health care they need.”

 

“Health insurance or income shouldn’t decide any woman’s ability to access the health care she needs—including abortion. But the reality for too many women—particularly for lower-income women, immigrants, young women, and women of color—is that this care is out of reach,” Senator Hirono said. “I join Senators Duckworth, Murray, and other colleagues to introduce the EACH Act, which repeals the Hyde Amendment, because it’s past time to remove this barrier to women accessing the reproductive care they need and making sure that women can equally access their constitutionally-protected right to abortion care.”

 

Today, abortion coverage restrictions like the Hyde Amendment impact more than 13 million women—primarily people struggling to make ends meet, women of color, young people, and immigrants. These harmful policies make it harder, if not impossible, for patients to afford an abortion or find a local provider. Abortion coverage restrictions also compound the harms from systemic racism, economic insecurity, and immigration status—ultimately denying millions of patients their constitutional right to an abortion.

 

The EACH Act would end this injustice and help ensure women don’t just have the right to abortion on paper, but also in practice. This bold legislation finally ends the decades-long restriction on abortion for patients on government sponsored health care plans and helps ensure every woman can get the reproductive health care they need—no matter their income, race, zip-code, or how they get health care.

 

Recent polling data also show that 62% of voters support lifting federal abortion coverage restrictions and believe Medicaid should cover abortion.

 

In addition to Senators Duckworth, Murray, and Hirono, the Senate bill was co-sponsored by: Senators Cortez Masto (D-NV), Shaheen (D-NH), Klobuchar (D-MN), Blumenthal (D-CT), Brown (D-OH), Warren (D-MA), Gillibrand (D-NY), Whitehouse (D-RI), Rosen (D-NV), Feinstein (D-CA), Merkley (D-OR), Hassan (D-NH), Bennet (D-CO), Markey (D-MA), Smith (D-MN), Murphy (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), Van Hollen (D-MD), Sanders (I-VT), Wyden (D-OR), Padilla (D-CA), and Lujan (D-NM).

 

Bill text can be found HERE.

 

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