The Road to 218

There may be brighter skies ahead for “The EACH Woman Act” (Vol. XXXVI, No. 2), also known as HR 2972. Numbers matter in politics, from Election Day turn-out percentages to the chance of rain. But in the US House of Representa­tives, only one number matters: 218, a majority of the chamber.

Right now, prochoice leaders in Congress are working towards 218 supporters, and we’re already more than halfway there, with 116 cosponsors secured in just the first seven months.

On a sweltering day in early July of last year, I proudly introduced this bill to repeal the Hyde Amend­ment—with the backing of 70 Democratic members of Congress and hundreds of activists, champions and crusaders for women’s health. The EACH Woman Act put the prochoice move­ment back on the offensive. Instead of playing defense against the host of anti­woman policies pushed by the right, we are striking back and demanding our constitutional rights, not the least of which is abor­tion access.

The EACH Woman Act is based on one overarching principle supported by progressives and conserva­tives alike: Politicians shouldn’t be meddling in a woman’s personal healthcare decision just because she’s poor.

I have long opposed Hyde’s antiwoman restric­tions. In fact, I was a staffer for former Congressman Ron Dellums (CA-9) when the amendment was first proposed, and my opposi­tion hasn’t changed.

Each year, antichoice politicians jam the Hyde rider through Congress. In doing so, they restrict the rights of many women—including low-income women, women of color, veterans and federal government employees—to receive abortion coverage. This is unacceptable.

As a person of faith, I could not be prouder that the EACH Woman Act has won the support of 116 members of Congress and a growing list of advocates, including Catholics for Choice. Now, we must continue on the road to 218. To get there, we must work together and raise our voices in unison to stop politicians from meddling with a woman’s personal healthcare choices

REP. BARBARA LEE
13th District
California

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