The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Restricting Access to Abortion

Apr 30, 2012

One of the first restrictions on the availability of abortion was the Hyde Amendment, passed less than three years after the original Supreme Court decision that struck down state laws prohibiting abortion.

The Hyde amendment got around the Supreme Court decision by pretending to cover simply a matter of funding for Medicaid. The Hyde amendment says that federal funds cannot be used when a state’s Medicaid plan covers abortion. At that time, President Carter was asked if this legislation discriminated against poor women. He replied, “Life isn’t fair.”

Today only 17 states use state funds to provide all or most medically necessary abortions.

Every year since 1976, more restrictions have been put on women’s access to abortion. But 2011 was the worst year by far: 92 provisions restricting abortion were passed either by Congress or state legislatures.

Many of the specific restrictions on abortion have been portrayed as insignificant. But the chipping away has now reached the point that over half of all women live in states where there is little or no access to abortion. For women in their teens, the situation is much worse.