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Support Access to Abortion and the EACH Woman Act

Support Access to Abortion and the EACH Woman Act

woman holding sign in front of supreme court about legal abortion

On January 31, 2017, Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9) reintroduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, or EACH Woman Act (H.R. 771), in the 115th Congress. The bill would repeal the Hyde Amendment, guaranteeing coverage for abortion through federal insurance plans and programs. 

The Hyde Amendment, which is added to the federal budget each year, excludes abortion services from comprehensive federally-administered health care plans. This provision, also known as a “rider,” disproportionately impacts low-income women, students and women of color who depend on federal health insurance plans such as Medicaid, Indian Health Services and TRICARE, serving as a barrier to access to abortion for over 29 million women in the United States. Restrictions on access to funding can lead women to unsafe or more dire alternatives.   

All life is sacred in Judaism. Although an unborn fetus is precious and to be protected, Judaism views the life and well-being of the woman as paramount, placing a higher value on existing life than on potential life. The Reform Movement has continued to renew its commitment to reproductive health and rightsIn 1975, the URJ passed a resolution stating, “We oppose those riders and amendments to other bills aimed at halting Medicaid, legal counseling, and family services in abortion-related activities.” As women are commanded to care for their own health and well-being, there are several instances when Judaism not only condones, but mandates abortion.  

The EACH Woman Act would ban local, state and federal governments from preventing private insurance companies from offering abortion coverage. It would also guarantee that every person who receives care or insurance through a federal plan or program will have coverage for abortion. The bill currently has 111 cosponsors. 

Take action by urging your representative to support the EACH Woman Act (H.R. 771), to ensure fair treatment for all women in regards to abortion access no matter her income. 

For more information about reproductive rights, visit the RAC's issue page 

Maya H. Weinstein is a law student at the University of North Carolina, where she is pursuing a career in education law. She was a 2016-2017 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, where she also served as the Legislative Assistant for Women of Reform Judaism. Maya is from Fort Myers, FL, and earned her B.A. from the George Washington University. 

Maya H. Weinstein

Published: 3/03/2017