Washington, D.C. — This week, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) will introduce the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act in the U.S. House and Senate. Jamille Fields Allsbrook, director of women’s health and rights at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
The legal right to abortion is meaningless if people are unable to afford and access care. The EACH Act would take a necessary step toward ensuring equitable abortion access for all by guaranteeing abortion coverage without restrictions based on a person’s income, insurance provider, or geography.
Restrictions on abortion coverage, including the Hyde Amendment, disproportionately harm women of color, especially Black and Latina women—who, due to systemic racism and poverty, represent a disproportionate share of the Medicaid program—as well as Native American women receiving health care from the Indian Health Service. These same communities have been among the hardest hit by the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, further deepening these systemic inequities.
It is past time for a comprehensive, proactive abortion policy agenda that addresses the legal, cultural, and systemic barriers that have put abortion rights out of reach for so many—especially people of color, people with low incomes, LGBTQ people, young people, people with disabilities, immigrants, and people in rural areas. This means building a cultural and systemic framework that values abortion as essential health care that is critical to health equity, reproductive autonomy, racial justice, and economic justice. The EACH Act is one important piece of this work to ensure meaningful abortion access for all.