U.S. funding for abortion: How the Helms and Hyde Amendments harm women and providers (fact sheet)

Friday, March 4, 2016

1973, the Helms Amendment became the first abortion funding restriction enacted by the U.S. Congress. Three years later Congress passed an additional funding restriction called the Hyde Amendment. These restrictions make access to safe abortion more difficult for the most vulnerable women. While the Helms Amendment prohibits funding for abortion through U.S. foreign aid, the Hyde Amendment prohibits coverage of abortion in the United States through federally funded health insurance programs like Medicaid. This factsheet explains how the Helms and Hyde restrictions disproportionately affect young, poor women of color across the United States and around the globe—and provides recommendations for advocates and policymakers on how the United States federal and state governments can reduce the negative impact of these policies in the short and long term.