Ocasio-Cortez: Hyde Amendment Is Not About Abortion, Launches Petition to Repeal

Ocasio-Cortez Says Hyde Amendment Is Not About Abortion, Launches Petition to Repeal
Cliff Owen/AP

New York lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) says the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funds from being used for abortion, is not about abortion “per se” and launched a petition Saturday to repeal it altogether.

She launched the petition Saturday, slamming the Hyde Amendment as something that “disproportionately harms low-income Americans and people of color just to suit the interests of anti-choice zealots” and asserting “abortion is health care.”

“It’s estimated that over 60,000 women are forced to go through with unwanted pregnancies every year just due to a lack of access to care. In a modern, moral, and wealthy nation such as the United States, that is unacceptable,” she wrote in an email to supporters, adding that access to abortion is “non-negotiable.”

“But thanks to partisan sabotage and zealotry, women across the country are losing access to this constitutionally protected right,” she continued.

“That ends now. We’re going to fight to repeal the Hyde Amendment, and let people access the care that they need,” she added. “Sign your name if you stand for repealing the Hyde Amendment.”

During an appearance on ABC’s This Week Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez praised Democrat frontrunner Joe Biden for completely reversing his previously held position on the Hyde Amendment, noting that she was “encouraged” by his flip flop.

She took her previous remarks a step further, arguing that the Hyde Amendment is not about abortion “per se:”

The Hyde amendment isn’t about abortion per se. The Hyde amendment is truly about equality of healthcare and healthcare access for low-income women and women of color and women that get caught in our mass incarceration system. And so the Hyde amendment is about income inequality and it’s about women’s healthcare in a system of income inequality. So I think that we need to repeal it.

Biden officially reversed his long-held support of the Hyde Amendment during an appearance at the IWillVote Gala June 6.

“For many years as U.S. Senator, I have supported the Hyde Amendment like many, many others have,” Biden told the crowd.

“I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents,” he continued, adding that he would make “no apologies” for his previous position and current position.

“I want to be clear: I make no apologies for my last position. I make no apologies for what I’m about to say,” he said.

“If I believe that health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support that amendment dependent that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code,” he added.

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