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Pro-choice activists protest during a demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on March 4, 2020.  (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

'We Need to See His Plan': Rights Groups Push Biden to Commit to Ending All Abortion Coverage Restrictions

"It's not enough for abortion to be legal. It must also be affordable and available to all people, however much money they have or however they get their insurance."

Progressive advocacy groups are urging presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to commit to fighting for reproductive rights for all by releasing a concrete plan to repeal the Hyde Amendment, a decades-old measure prohibiting federal funding for most abortion procedures.

On Monday, the ACLU and the All* Above All Action Fund launched a digital postcard campaign aimed at pressuring Biden to "make a firm commitment to remove all abortion coverage restrictions from his first budget, and tell Congress he won't sign bills with abortion coverage restrictions, if he is elected."

The groups plan to mass deliver the messages demanding a specific plan to repeal Hyde to Biden's campaign headquarters in Philadelphia ahead of the Democratic National Convention later this month.

"There is too much at stake to continue a health care system that explicitly denies abortion access to those living at the margins."
—Nicole Regalado, ACLU

"To end Hyde, we need bold leadership from the next president," reads a sample postcard. "Politicians can no longer call themselves pro-choice without concrete commitments to ensure abortion coverage for all. Consider this your notice."

Morgan Hopkins, national field manager for the All* Above All Action Fund, said in a statement that "it's not enough for abortion to be legal."

"It must also be affordable and available to all people, however much money they have or however they get their insurance," said Hopkins. "This is a crucial moment for Black and brown communities, women, LGBTQ folks, immigrants, and young people who will not accept empty promises from our candidates... We urge Joe Biden to release the specific actions he will take to undo the harmful legacy of the Hyde Amendment and end abortion coverage bans."

Last June, in the face of criticism from rights groups and his 2020 Democratic primary opponents, Biden reversed his longstanding support for the Hyde Amendment and said he now opposes the 1976 provision as well as Republican efforts to gut abortion rights at the state level.

Nicole Regalado, deputy director of ACLU's Liberty Division, said that while Biden's avowed support for repealing the amendment is welcome, "he has yet to release a plan to do so—and those details matter."

"In the midst of a public health emergency that disproportionately harms communities of color, it is urgent we dismantle discriminatory barriers to healthcare, including abortion coverage bans," said Regalado. "There is too much at stake to continue a healthcare system that explicitly denies abortion access to those living at the margins."

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