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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said a "right delayed is a right denied." The Hyde Amendment delays and sometimes entirely denies poor women access to abortion.

Written by Jessica Arons and Shira Saperstein for RHRealityCheck.org - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded of his  poignant words that a "right delayed is a right denied." This is as true  for reproductive rights as it is for other civil and human rights. And  nowhere is it more true than with regard to a policy known as the Hyde  Amendment, which delays and sometimes entirely denies poor women,  especially women of color, access to abortion.

Abortion policy in this country does not treat all women equally. Even before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, affluent women were usually able to access  abortion safely through a network of private doctors or by traveling to  other states or countries where it was legal. Meanwhile, poor women  risked their health, fertility, and often their lives to end a  pregnancy. Unfortunately, because of the Hyde Amendment, similar  inequalities exist today -- nearly 40 years after the Supreme Court  declared that all women have a constitutional right to abortion.

The Hyde Amendment prohibits Medicaid, the joint federal-state health  care program for the indigent, from covering abortion care in almost  all circumstances. Most people think of this as a "woman's issue," which  of course it is. But the Hyde Amendment intentionally discriminates  against poor women and has a disparate impact on women of color. In this  way, the Hyde Amendment is a civil rights issue as well.

The Hyde Amendment is especially harmful to women of color. According to the most recent Census data,  25.8 percent of African Americans and 25.3 percent of Hispanics are  poor, compared to 12.3 percent of whites and 12.5 percent of Asians. As a  result, women of color are more likely to rely on government health  programs. And due to socioeconomic factors, women of color  disproportionately experience a range of reproductive and other health  disparities, including higher rates of infant mortality, HIV/AIDS, STIs,  unintended pregnancy, and abortion.

The upshot: women of color are more likely to be directly affected by  the Hyde Amendment and other abortion funding restrictions.

We do not subject other fundamental constitutional freedoms --  voting, free speech, freedom to worship, the right to a fair trial, the  right to counsel -- to poll taxes or income requirements. But a woman's  ability to act on her constitutionally protected decision to have an  abortion is subject to the whims of a fickle legislature and what is (or  is not) in her pocketbook.

It is poor women, disproportionately women of color, who have to  scrape together money for an abortion -- foregoing rent or utilities,  pawning dear items, taking food out of their children's mouths, or  worse. It is these women who consider suicide or self-harm, risk  inducing an abortion on their own, or continue a pregnancy against their  will and better judgment because they cannot find the money or get to a  clinic in time. And it is these women whom policymakers continually  ignore but who must live with the consequences of political fights over  which they have little control.

Ironically, abortion opponents have recently tried to claim the  mantle as defenders of civil rights, launching a pernicious campaign  aimed at driving a wedge in the African American community over  abortion. Citing high rates of abortion among black women, they claim  that "abortion is genocide" and argue that abortion providers  intentionally target black women for discriminatory reasons.

This strategy cynically plays on an understandable distrust of the  medical establishment among many people of color due to a history of  eugenics in this country. But it completely ignores the structural  racism and economic inequality that create health disparities for women  of color across the board. It also treats women of color as pawns in the  alleged self-destruction of themselves and their own community rather  than as agents of their own self-determination.

Where is the outrage of abortion opponents that the infant mortality  rate is twice as high for blacks as for whites?  Where is their  indignation that three-fourths of HIV cases in Washington, D.C. are among African Americans?

The reality about abortion and women of color is that our government  has taken a group of women who have little access to health care  generally, a heightened incidence of disease and injury, and an  increased risk of unintended pregnancy, and then walled off abortion  care. This leaves these women in the horrible position of not having the  institutional supports necessary to plan wanted pregnancies, carry  healthy pregnancies to term, and raise their children with dignity, yet  unable to end pregnancies that they do not want or feel unprepared to  handle.

As long as these unjust provisions remain a part of our laws, the  rights of women in this country will continue to be treated according to  two different standards: whether you can afford to pay for your rights  or not. That is not equality.

The Hyde Amendment has been in place for almost 35 years. We have  long since passed from delayed justice to outright denial. Repealing the  Hyde Amendment will not, by itself, ensure full equality for women of  color and low-income women, but it is a necessary precondition. Ending  abortion funding restrictions will improve the lives of all women, but  none more so than the women who have already shouldered much more than  their fair share of injustice.

Originally posted to RH Reality Check on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 08:55 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lest we forget, a woman's right to privacy ...... (7+ / 0-)

    ..... was used as a bargaining chip by a Democratic president to pass HIR.    

    If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time. Harry Truman

    by ThAnswr on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 09:06:36 AM PST

  •  Not quite (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1918, irishwitch, nextstep, fl1972, eatbeans

    The phrase "a right delayed is a right denied" is a powerful point and one I fully agree with.  But I don't follow your logic in claiming that the Hyde Amendment defies this point.  In order to claim that the Hyde Amendment denies a right, you would need to argue that there is a right to a federally subsidized abortion. The Hyde Amendment does not prohibit access to abortion; it prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions.

  •  Using the same logic, the (4+ / 0-)

    government needs to buy guns for poor people.

  •  Are you making the case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep

    that persons who cannot afford a medical procedure acquire a Civil Right to it because others can afford the procedure?

  •  rights and income (0+ / 0-)

    We do not subject other fundamental constitutional freedoms --  voting, free speech, freedom to worship, the right to a fair trial, the  right to counsel -- to poll taxes or income requirements.

    Rich people can buy ads in the newspaper, heck the can buy newspapers to get thier message out. They get to have a lot more speech than poor people.

    They also get to hire the best lawyers, regardless of color (See: Simpson, Orenthal James)

  •  You have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Support Civil Liberty

    You have a funny idea of what 'rights' are.  We do have freedom of religion.  If I live in a town without a Methodist Church, I do not have the right to expect that the government will build me one of that they will pay for my transportation to the closest one.  This sort of thinking is what gives people on this side of the debate a bad name.  No one is entitled to an abortion; they have the right to get one of they can pay for it.

    •  So you reject the idea that medical care is a (5+ / 0-)

      right and support the idea that one is only entitled to such medical care as they can afford to purchase, correct?

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

      by enhydra lutris on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 09:42:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More or less (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Support Civil Liberty

        Depends on the procedure.  I think we would all agree that cosmetic plastic surgery is not something that people are entitled to unless they can afford it.  If a woman's life is in danger, I feel that she should have the right to be treated with an abortion, but if not then no; you don't need to have an abortion to be healthy.

        •  So your opinion trumps that of medical (5+ / 0-)

          professionals, on a non case-by-case basis. On what grounds?

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

          by enhydra lutris on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 09:55:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Logic (1+ / 2-)
            Recommended by:
            Support Civil Liberty
            Hidden by:
            irishwitch, brasilaaron

            Logic - I has it.  You'd have to be really sick in the head to think that pregnancy is a disease to be treated.

            •  Medicaid covers... (6+ / 0-)

              ...pre-natal care, delivery, and other pregnancy-related treatment. Since pregnancy is not "a disease to be treated", should those funds be denied as well?

              After all, women have been popping out babies since long before medical technology existed; it's the most natural thing in the world, you know.

              •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Support Civil Liberty

                If you are going down that route, what about infertility?  Should Medicaid cover IVF?
                And those other things are promoting wellness both in the mother and the child.  Abortion is not.

              •  Don't waste you time arguing with greatdarkspot (5+ / 0-)

                s/he'll just change the argument.

                Women have the right to control their bodies.  This means the right to have an abortion if they believe they cannot carry a fetus to term for what ever reason.  It doesn't have to be justified to anyone.

                Poor women are denied access to medicaid funds to terminate their pregnancies, yet get limited pre-natal and well baby care from medicaid.  No to mention affordable day care so the mother will have more time available for full time work.

                So yes, poor women have the same "rights" as middle class women but lack the funds to exercise these rights.

                HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

                by HylasBrook on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:42:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm a 'he' (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HylasBrook

                  Medical care is hardly the only thing that poorer people don't have the same access to.  They don't have as good housing as well; that's just an unfortunate side effect of being poor.  Unless you can overcome the laws of economics, that's always going to be the case.
                  I don't disagree that women have the right to control their bodies; they just don't have the right to expect other people to pay for their choices.  As I keep saying, if a doctor makes a recommendation that a woman should have an abortion for a medical reason, then let there be funds made available.  Not just because she's afraid something 'might' happen or she just flat out doesn't want to be pregnant.  If that's the case, let them seek private sector help like Planned Parenthood as you suggest downthread.

                  •  I gave you the benefit of the doubt that (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    irishwitch, martydd

                    you might be a woman, but I not suprised you are a 'he'.

                    As for people paying for other people's choices, we do  that everyday as tax payers.  I pay for people's choice to have children through subsidizing public schools.

                    I'd love that to be a "choice" I don't have to pay $2,000 year for.

                    So you see, you oppose the government for a woman who doesn't want a baby, but if she wants one then we have to pay for it.  Go figure.

                    HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

                    by HylasBrook on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 01:39:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Clearly. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irishwitch

                That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

                by enhydra lutris on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:51:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  disease? no. risk? most definitely (11+ / 0-)

              Pregnancy is dangerous. Even with modern medicine, there is a non-zero risk to the mother in all pregnancies.  There are definite physiological changes, many irreversible.

              So yes, there is an argument that aborting a pregnancy improves a woman's health.  Any pregnancy.  If you want a baby, you sign on for the risks.  

              And this is without opening the discussion on mental health.

              •  Sex (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Support Civil Liberty

                If you have sex, you sign up for the risks, too - unless it's rape.  If you can't afford an abortion, don't put yourself in a position where you might need one.

                •  does that include (6+ / 0-)

                  If you can't afford an abortion, don't put yourself in a position where you might need one

                  humans with penises too?  I mean if they get a girl pregnant and can't afford to get her an abortion, shouldn't there be some sort of cultural predisposition to chastise the penis-bearer with self-righteous sanctimony about

                  don't put yourself in a position where you might need one

                  ?

                •  OOOH! OOH! (0+ / 0-)

                  Then lets treat the MEN who get these women pregnant with the same contempt you treat women.  Let's print their names in the newspaper when they don't marry her, or whent hey fail to pay child support.

                  According to you, sex is only for the rich or well-off paople who can afford it.

                  WOuldn't it be cheaper to provide free birth control for every woman?

                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:50:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Men (0+ / 0-)

                    I believe that men who don't pay child support should be called to account and have their wages garnished.  I see no reason for your HR and respectfully ask you to remove it.

                    •  Nope. It stays. (0+ / 0-)

                      HR'ed for sexism which is permissible.

                      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                      by irishwitch on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 09:01:03 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

                        I won't reciprocate because it's against the rules, but you come across as the sexist one in this discussion to me.  You clearly have major issues with men.

                        •  I was expecting this kind of response from you. (0+ / 0-)
                          How was I sexist?

                          ANswer I wasn't.

                          I merely pointed out that YOU seem to have a problem with others who aren't as successful or well-off as you, and seem to feel that they don't deserve help. I also pointed out that even if you don't want to pay for an abortion, it's still a bargain, since taxes will pay for food stamps to help that teenage mother raise her baby, and will cover the cost of educating that child. From the purely  pragmatic PoV, abortion is cheaper.  You, onthe other hand, seemed to accept the notiont hat there will always be pos people--probably the truth, sadly-- but seemed uninterested in helping others out of poverty, which is what you do when you allow a young mother to chosoe abortion to continue her education so she can support the future chidlren she may have,

                          Oh, and I guess it's terribly sexist to state that you, as a male, will never have to face the choice of abortion, nor will you have toe experience pregnancy for 9 months with a baby you don't want--which makes it easy for you to  view childbirth a sa miracle, because you'll never have to go through labor, be told the child you're carrying isanencephalic or otherwise non-viabl;e outside the utereus, or have soem phamracist refuse to fill a prescription for Plan B becuase HIS religion trumps YOUR medical ned.

                          Unpleasant truths, I grant you--but no one but a guy like you would call me sexist.

                          As for my relationships with me--I like them a lot, many of them, jsut as I do women. I don't like sexists or people lacking in compassion of either sex, nor do I care for those who ignore reality.  I've been married twice. My first husband died of an undiagnosed heart ailment at the age of 29. My second husband and I have been married for 22 years, known each other  since  Dec., 1985, friends first for  years before we dated.

                          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                          by irishwitch on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 05:19:14 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The fact (0+ / 0-)

                            The fact that you could describe abortion as 'a bargain' simply means that we are not even in the same place.  You know absolutely nothing of what I have done and am doing to lift people out of poverty.  You saw sexism in my comments because you apparently feel that men should not be able to have and express an opinion on this issue.  I don't see any sexism in my comments, but I'm not going to be bothered to complain about your two BS HRs.  That just shows your pettiness.
                            I never said I was opposed to abortion and I made clear that in cases of medical need, that they should be paid for - that would include carrying a nonviable fetus.  It would not be because someone was scared they might get hemorrhoids.  Abortion is an elective procedure and I do not see that it should be paid for by public funds anymore than I think it should bay for lazic eye correction.
                            And if you think that makes me sexist, all I can say is that you chose your username well.  And yes, I'm sure you think the same of me (look at a picture of planet Neptune.)

              •  OK, what physiological changes are you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fl1972

                talking about that are irreversible?

                I'm a woman of color, who grew up in the north (Detroit, Michigan)

                by Boris Badenov on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:02:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hemmorrhoids, for one (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  irishwitch, princss6, antimony

                  Any woman who has given birth knows her body has been changed and not necessarily in a good way.  Surgery can be restorative, but it still doesn't make the patient whole.  

                  Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

                  by arlene on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:16:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're still not making any sense... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    greatdarkspot

                    Hemmorroids? Really? Anybody can get them and you don't have to be pregnant. Believe me, having rrhoids doesn't change ones' outlook on life.

                    I should know, I have three boys and each pregnancy was different. In fact, I feel more complete with my children then I did before I got pregnant.

                    I'm a woman of color, who grew up in the north (Detroit, Michigan)

                    by Boris Badenov on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:23:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  lots? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  irishwitch

                  I don't know all of them, honestly, as I've never had a kid.  I've just heard women I know chatting about it.   I do know there's, for example, a significant risk of lifetime incontinence issues.  Life-threatening?  Not generally.   But the number is really quite high.  

                  I just did a quick google, and we're talking 25%-50% of women (depending on what citation, and I didn't do a thorough search).  Some significant fraction will require surgery for the structural issues involved.  Pregnancy loosens the muscles down there in strange ways, and they DO NOT go back.  

                  But if there were some other, inexpensive procedure, that could reduce the number of incontinence cases by the kind of amount that abortions could, I cannot see any reason it would not be approved for government assistance money.  

              •  What evolution did to human females (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irishwitch, antimony

                There are trade-offs in human evolution. I've read a comparison (can't remember where) of maternal risks in human vs. primate births. A normal primate birth is not the strain to the female's system that a human birth is.

                A human's larger brain size makes birthing much harder/dangerous for the human mother compared to primates. However a bigger brain was such an survival advantage that a process that kills a significant fraction of mothers still breeds true. The mother's genes are going to be passed down if she manages, for instance, 4 live births before the 5th birth kills her. Even the genes that cause a woman to die with her first birth may be passed down if there's another mother in the vicinity who's still got milk and adopts the baby.

                So I don't think people who have the opinion that pregnancy can't be a burden (or can't be a burden except in rare circumstances) really have the whole picture.

                It's only half a victory when Change & Civil Rights don't include all persons

                by julifolo on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 01:32:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Compassion--you utterly lacks it. (0+ / 0-)

              Logic, not very much either. It costs a LOT more to raise and educate a child than to abort one. Logically you should favor abortion since you likely won't want to pay for that child's food stamps and education either.

              You'd have to be an arrogant asshole to be as obnoxiously condescending as you are.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:48:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Medical Care is not a Right (3+ / 0-)

        And it most certainly is not a Civil Right. There are many forms of government medical assistance that persons are entitled to, but entitlements are not Rights.

        •  OK. Some would disagree, but at least that is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch, princss6

          consistent. However, the government does need to come up with a reason for discriminating against a class of persons in providing entitlements, though I don't feel like chasing that rabbit right now.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

          by enhydra lutris on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:57:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You know, there is no point in arguing (7+ / 0-)

      with Greatdarkspot.  (Even though I fell into this trap.)

      It's like arguing with anti-choice people.  We are never going to change their minds.

      As many rights for the poor and for women we have to fight for, no point in wasting energy on a troll.

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:36:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since he's been snipped (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HylasBrook

        and likely isn't poor, he feels superior to poor women, of color or not, and  my hopes are that in his next life, he comes back as a poor woman of color in a third world country who dies in childbirth after being forced to bear fifteen kids...over and over again until he gets the lesson. Karma is a bitch.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:46:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's karma I believe in! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch

          HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

          by HylasBrook on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 03:24:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wee (0+ / 0-)

          Aren't you just a nice person?  In fact, I grew up quite poor and do not feel superior to anyone of either sex.  Nor do I believe in reincarnation, for what that's worth.
          Some of us think of childbirth as a miracle and not a torment.

          •  Your posts hear speak much louder than your (0+ / 0-)

            denials. Your contempt for women --especially poor women--leaks out despite your attempts to claim otherwise.

            And you will never have to go through childbirth, will you? Because you are MALE. If you want a child, pregnancy is a blessing, but if you  cannot afford to bear a child--and why do I know you're down on food stamps and AFDC?--it's a curse. I  had to make the decision twice, on the Pill both times.  First time I wasn't pregnant, just had a wrong dosage of the Pill. Second time, I was married but unemployed, and we couldn't afford a baby. I was RESPONSIBLE as hell. Took my Pill every damned day. The second time it didn't work,and I miscarried the day before I was to see the nurse practicioner.  At the timw I would have mourned the decision but would still have known it was the only rational thing to do.

            I am normally reasonably polite, but your cavalier attitude toward a subject htat will never affect YOUR bidy directly, made me decide you deserve the sme attitude you show poor women.  Please have "I am  Man WHo tThink He Has the RIght To tell WOmen WHat To DO WIth Their Bodies" tattooed on your dick--or ebtter yet, your forehead, so no owman will ever have to get clsoe enough to find out how you really feel about women who have sex and can't afford an abortion.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 08:58:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know if I beleive in reincarnation (0+ / 0-)

            either--but you sure deserve to learnt he hard way what it';s like to be 19, in college, knowing you'll lose your scholarship if you're pregnant.  Or to be a 16 year old who didn't dare use the Pill becuase her fundy asshole father wouldahve found it--and the condom broke, leaving you pregnant and terrified of the ebating you'll get (if you're lucky; more likley he'll throw you out of the hsoue for good).

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 09:00:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  it's not about getting one (6+ / 0-)

      it is about a medical procedure being paid for by medical insurance and the fact that a legal medical procedure is being banned from inclusion in otherwise legal medical insurance.  Once again, a legal medical procedure.  
      Would you feel the same opposition to medical insurance refusing to pay for male circumcision simply b/c some segment of the population thought males shouldn't be circumcised?  It's a legal medical procedure, too.

  •  You are only entitled to what you can pay for (4+ / 0-)

    That's why AZ now had death panels for the poor in need of organ transplants.  It is also why families are forced into bankruptcy if they get an expensive disease.  It is also why the U.S. is at the bottom of the developed world in longevity and maternal death rates and has the highest rate of unintended pregnancy in the developed world.

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:17:58 AM PST

  •  Action v. Information (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, HylasBrook

    Do you have any specific suggestions?  That would be a valuable addition to the diary, whether it's upcoming legislation, fundraising, or just other avenues of consciousness-raising.

  •  For the record RH, I'm scratching my head on this (0+ / 0-)

    one. For starters, as a woman of color, I find this statement very perplexing...

    It is poor women, disproportionately women of color, who have to  scrape together money for an abortion -- foregoing rent or utilities,  pawning dear items, taking food out of their children's mouths, or  worse. It is these women who consider suicide or self-harm, risk  inducing an abortion on their own, or continue a pregnancy against their  will and better judgment because they cannot find the money or get to a  clinic in time.

    Why on earth would we colored women get suicidal over a pregnancy? Who or what statistics said otherwise? For the love God man, if we can deal with the foolishness of slavery, Jim Crow, church bombings and lynchings, surely we can cope with pregnancies and being pregnant!

    Apparently you and the two white women you quoted have no idea of what we are and what we have to go through. Just because we are not as well off as our white counterparts does not mean we want to give up or abort our children.

    For many of us, our children is the only thing we have and they are more precious to us than you realize. As for pawning things like material possessions, we will use that money to feed, clothe and keep a roof over our children's heads, not take food out of their mouths.

    I would implore you to sit down and have a conversation with someone of color before you write or quote another's piece to get their feedback. Otherwise you're only repeating the same sterotypes that feed endless myths about us.

    I'm a woman of color, who grew up in the north (Detroit, Michigan)

    by Boris Badenov on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:42:29 AM PST

  •  Hyde amendment doesn't jsut affect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill W, julifolo

    poor woman. It also strikes women in the military--especially those assigned overseas.  

    I lived on a base in Japan for 7 years. Many of the airmen sent over were  very young women, often able to drink legally for the first time. They'd go over to the club where older guys would ply them with alcohol until they were about to pass out, then take them to the barracks or a motel and have sex with someone so drunk as to be legally unable to consent.  Unless they were on the Pill, birth control wad seldom used.  Result, a pregnant  20 year old. Alone in a foreign country where she didn't speak the language. No abortions permissible in the military hospital thanks to Hyde (unless Obama lifted the ban and allows the woman to pay for them herself)-even if she could afford to pay for one. Sure, Japan has good medical care, but the language issue is HUGE--and I cna't see a pregnant young woman wanting to have to explain to the base why she needs a translator accompany her to the hospital.  The result was a lot of unmarried young women.

    Their other chocie was to request leave so soon after arriving that people would want to know why. Then a plane home she'd have to pay for, or a MAC flight to CA. Either way she was gonna have to pay for the abortion, a motel, food and likley   her flight.  Airmen don't make much money.
    That's the other face of the Hyde AMendment.  It costs the military a lot of $$$ in time lost to pregnancy and maternity leave and medical expenses, not to mention cost of housing  offbase  or onbase.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:42:06 PM PST

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