CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Unhappy Birthday to the Amendment That Started the War on Women

  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

Earlier this year, when an all-male congressional panel debated whether employer health plans should have to cover birth control and Rush Limbaugh lambasted law student Sandra Fluke for arguing that they should, many people were left asking, “When did birth control become controversial?” In some ways, we can thank former Rep. Henry Hyde (R.-Ill.) for setting us on this path.

The attacks on contraceptive coverage can be traced back to an amendment of his that turns 36 years old today. The Hyde Amendment prohibits coverage for abortion in the Medicaid health-insurance program for the poor in all but the most limited circumstances. This law restricts insurance coverage for reproductive health care—just as conservatives are now seeking to do with birth control—and it has been justified by the argument that those who oppose something shouldn’t have to subsidize it. It’s the same argument being advanced to suggest that employers shouldn’t have to cover contraception in their employee health plans.

Read more here.

This article was originally published in The Daily Beast.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or