Casten Cosponsors Each Woman Act

March 13, 2019
Press Release
New Representative of Henry Hyde’s former District Joins Fight to Undo “Hyde Amendment”

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06)  took another key step toward keeping his pledge to support women’s choice and undo the discriminatory Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment – named after anti-choice ideologue Henry Hyde who formerly represented the 6th District – has, since 1976, blocked the use of federal funding for abortion services. Casten cosponsored the pro-choice Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Woman Act, a bill to reverse the destructive Hyde Amendment.

This bill would allow every woman to make her own health care decisions regardless of her income, her race, where she works, or how she gets her insurance. Fifty-eight percent of reproductive-age women enrolled in Medicaid live in states that withhold insurance coverage for abortion except in limited circumstances.  Fifty-one percent of reproductive-age women enrolled in Medicaid and subject to abortion coverage restrictions are women of color.

Casten said, “For more than 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has interfered in women’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health decisions, putting the government between women and their doctors.  As someone who represents the 6th District of Illinois, the same District once represented by Henry Hyde, I take particular pride in standing with the bill’s leaders Representatives Schakowsky, Lee, and DeGette  to say women’s rights are human rights.  For too long, anti-abortion politicians have thought they knew better than women and interfered in women’s health decisions and enough is enough.

The reality is that when politicians deny abortion coverage, the harm falls hardest on low-income women, women of color, and young women. In fact, a recent study found that a woman who seeks but is denied abortion care is more likely to fall into poverty than a woman who is able to get the care she needs.  We can no longer put up with politicians thinking they know better than a woman’s doctor what is best for her. We must lift bans on abortion coverage like the Hyde Amendment and I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to re-introduce the EACH Woman Act so that every woman has insurance coverage for the care she needs and chooses.”