The recent Amarillo Globe-News editorial (Editorial: Don’t abort the truth, July 11, amarillo.com) props up harmful myths about bans on abortion coverage — such as the Hyde Amendment and the new proposals being considered in Texas Legislature’s upcoming special session.
As the executive director of the abortion fund that serves people from Amarillo and the surrounding Panhandle region (Texas Equal Access Fund), we know the impact Hyde has on the community. The Hyde Amendment bans Medicaid insurance from covering abortion, and similar bans deny coverage to military service members, Peace Corps volunteers and more. The unjust and narrow “exceptions” for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or which threaten a woman’s life don’t even work – one study found that states cover only 36 percent of the procedures eligible under those exceptions.
For the women who seek financial assistance from abortion funds in Texas, the ban on Medicaid coverage is very real indeed. These women are forced to make impossible decisions like forgoing rent if they can’t find the money to pay for their care.
No woman — here in Texas or anywhere — should be denied insurance coverage for abortion just because of her income or source of insurance. Pushing care out of reach also pushes women to the brink: a woman who wants to get an abortion but is denied is more likely to fall into poverty than one who can get an abortion.
If we are going to be talking about facts, let’s be sure to include all of them.
Nan Little Kirkpatrick
Texas Equal Access Fund