On the 43rd anniversary of passage of the Hyde Amendment, which prevents people from using federal funds for abortions unless the pregnancy is life-threatening or the result of rape or incest, a new national poll showed that voters are against such restrictions.
The poll, released by All* Above All and conducted by Hart Research Associates, spoke to 1,413 registered voters nationwide and 407 registered voters from 44 battleground congressional districts (CDs) in 24 states. According to the findings:
Majorities of men and women and voters of all ages and education levels favor Medicaid coverage of abortion services. Millennials (67 percent), Latinx voters (70 percent), African-American voters (73 percent), independent women (66 percent) and suburban women (67 percent nationally and 73 percent in battleground CDs) support Medicaid coverage of abortion at even higher rates.
By almost three to one, more voters nationwide say we are headed off on the wrong track (57 percent) than that we are moving in the right direction (20 percent) when it comes to access to abortion.
The numbers of voters who believe the country is moving in the wrong direction regarding abortion are highest among people who live in battleground states (64 percent) and those who identify as African-American women (68 percent) and Latinx women (67 percent).
The poll was released on Monday (September 30), 43 years after Congress passed the Hyde Amendment. As Colorlines previously reported, one in five women of reproductive age in the United States relies on Medicaid, and under this ban they are unable to get coverage for abortion care. Hyde restrictions disproportionately affect people of color, as 31 percent of Black women of reproductive age, 27 percent of Latinx women of reproductive age, and 19 percent of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women are enrolled in Medicaid.
“Women of color have been working for decades to repeal the Hyde Amendment that denies low-income people affordable abortion care. Thanks to their leadership, the public is with us, and federal, state and local lawmakers are making bold moves to end abortion coverage restrictions,” Destiny Lopez, co-director of All* Above All, said in a statement. “We are closer than ever to ending this cruel, heartless policy once and for all.”
Alongside the restrictions that Hyde places on lower-income earning people, a number of states have passed laws that prevent all pregnant people from legally obtaining an abortion. In 2019, nine states passed restrictive laws. These include Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia, where legislatures approved six-week bans. Missouri’s ban is at eight weeks of pregnancy, while Alabama recently criminalized abortion at the moment of conception, with no exceptions for rape or incest.