Ayanna Pressley Says It’s Racist To Not Pay For Black People’s Abortions

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/05/10/ayanna-pressley-says-its-racist-to-not-pay-for-black-peoples-abortions/

What does racial justice look like?

If you’re U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Dorchester), it could be more black babies being aborted.

At least, that’s what she said in a statement reiterating her support for the EACH Act.

Along with other pro-legal-abortion representatives, including U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (D-California), Pressley reintroduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act earlier this spring. The purpose of the bill is to repeal the Hyde Amendment. It would require abortion coverage for people who receive health coverage through the federal government. The Hyde Amendment allows federal funds to go to abortion only this in cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother.

Pressley says that standard is racist and needs to change.

“Reproductive justice has always been a racial and economic justice issue, and we must hold our ground and stand in our power,” Pressley said in a press release. “That means legislating reproductive justice, because with this anti-choice majority on the Supreme Court continuing to threaten our bodily autonomy, we can’t let up in our fight to protect the right to abortion care for all people. 

“The EACH Act is necessary legislation that meets the moment by repealing the racist and discriminatory Hyde Amendment — which disproportionately impacts Black and brown people — and affirming the right of everyone to make personal reproductive health care decisions without political interference,” she added. “I am grateful to my colleagues and to our allies at All Above All for their partnership on this critical bill.”

The Hyde Amendment prevents an estimated 50,000 babies from being aborted each year, according to National Review.

Black women already have a disproportionately high number of abortions in the United States. Despite being 13 percent of the population, blacks have 28 percent of the abortions in the country, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

In Massachusetts, about 20 percent of abortions in 2018 were performed on black women (3,680 out of 18,256), according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Blacks made up about 9 percent of the state’s population around that time, according to the U.S. Census.

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health 


Since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide with the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, more than 61 million babies have been aborted. Of those babies, more than 20 million have been black, according to The Washington Examiner.

The Hyde Amendment primarily affects Medicaid recipients. The majority of Medicaid recipients are non-white, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. As of 2019, they were 41.1 percent white, 20 percent black, 29.3 percent Hispanic, 4.3 percent Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1.1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, and 4.2 percent mixed race.

The National Health Law Program lays out instances where the EACH Act would apply in addition to Medicaid:


People who are enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP;

Indigenous people who receive their health care from IHS;

Refugees who receive medical assistance through federal programs for domestic resettlement and assistance to refugees;

People detained in federal prisons or detention centers, such as immigration detention;

Young people in the care or custody of the United States’ Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement;

People who are enrolled in government-sponsored health insurance programs or plans due to a current or former employer relationship, including federal employees and their dependents, Peace Corps volunteers; military members, veterans, and their dependents;

People who receive other coverage, such as through a State health benefits risk pool; and

Government-sponsored programs established after the EACH Act’s enactment.


The bill never came up for a vote in the last Congress, although it had 186 Democratic co-sponsors.


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