August 6, 2015 — "Latinas played a crucial role in the introduction of groundbreaking new legislation" (HR 2972), which, if enacted, would "go a long way in making the legal right to an abortion a reality for those struggling to make ends meet," Kimberly Inez McGuire, director of public affairs at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, writes in a Politic365 opinion piece.
According to McGuire, the EACH Woman Act would "stop politicians from interfering in [women's] healthcare decisions by making sure abortion is covered for all -- however much money [women] make, whatever kind of health insurance [women] have, and wherever [women] live." She writes, "Practically speaking, this means Medicaid will cover abortion, as it did in the years after Roe v Wade and before Representative Henry Hyde [R-Ill.] began his crusade against abortion rights in the late 1970s."
McGuire notes that the Hyde Amendment has "pushed women seeking abortion into poverty, forced women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, and caused families to make impossible choices between paying for rent or groceries and paying for needed healthcare."
Further, she notes that "the impact of the Hyde amendment has been made even worse by the passage of an avalanche of state-level restrictions on abortion." McGuire notes, "For large and growing Latina populations in Florida, Virginia, Texas, and elsewhere, these restrictions mean delays in accessing care, invasive and medically unnecessary procedures, and politicians stepping between women and their doctors."
"That's why the EACH Woman Act is a game-changer for Latinas, who for too long have had [their] reproductive health decisions stripped away," McGuire writes, adding, "The EACH Woman Act addresses a critical piece of this struggle, namely whether politicians are allowed to deny access to abortion care just because someone is poor."
McGuire praises Latina House representatives who have co-sponsored the measure -- including Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D- N.M.) and Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) -- as well as "Latina activists across the country who are organizing to support the bill" and NLIRH, which is "co-chairing the campaign to lift abortion coverage bans." She writes, "We stand with other women of color, young people, and low income communities in saying 'enough is enough'" and "demand[ing] change" (McGuire, Politic365, 8/4).