This week the House and Senate will vote on budget-balancing measures which create controversy not only in financial matters but in the abortion issue as well. The bill includes the “Hyde Amendment” which would deny federal funds for abortions as part of a proposed program of health care for uninsured children age 18 and under. The amendment only makes exceptions in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the woman is in danger.
According to Kate Michelman of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, “It’s just another example of how the right wing in Congress is using every vehicle they can, including the budget process, to restrict women’s access to abortion services and make abortion more difficult for women in general to obtain.” To counter the amendment, Democrats in Congress have been signing a letter asking the White House to remove abortion restrictions from the bills. Although the Administration has not threatened to veto the bill, it told House leaders that “major objectionable items” of the bill include the curbs on abortion.