Lately, politicians and policy makers have been continuously discussing the importance of the women’s economic agenda. This is a good thing because even though women earn most of the college and advanced degrees in this country, and are two thirds of their family’s breadwinners, forty-two million women, and the 28 million children who depend on them, are living paycheck to paycheck, one disaster away from economic ruin. Paid sick days, paid parental leave, and raising the minimum wage are among some of the important policy changes being discussed, but not access to reproductive health care, a crucial component to women’s economic success in the U.S.
Today is the 39th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment. Every year since 1976, Congress has passed the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal coverage of abortion for women enrolled in Medicaid. Over 60 percent of women who obtain abortions have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, meaning many of those 42 million women living paycheck to paycheck.
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