Hyde Makes Navigating Reproductive Health Care Even Harder for Black Muslims

September 26, 2019

Navigating reproductive health services as a Black Muslim often means confronting Islamophobia, xenophobia, and class discrimination within the medical system—problems only amplified by the Hyde Amendment’s ban on federal funding for abortion. Yet little attention has been paid to how Black Muslims are disproportionately affected by the anti-choice policy and their erasure from conversations about health-care access.

First passed on September 30, 1976, this year marks the Hyde Amendment’s 43rd anniversary. Hyde is an appropriations rider passed annually by the U.S. Congress banning federal Medicaid funds from covering abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment. A quote from Rep. Henry Hyde—the restriction’s namesake—reveals that, by design, the amendment targets low-income people. “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion …. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the … Medicaid bill.”

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