Obama’s Budget Leaves Poor Latinas in Peril

Representatives of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), the nation’s leading voice on Latina health and rights, expressed their disappointment at President Barack Obama’s decision to retain in his budget funding barriers to legal abortions for low-income women.
President Obama’s proposed 2010 budget maintains the Hyde Amendment, a provision in the federal budget enacted 32 years ago that restricts federal Medicaid funding for abortion. Nearly a quarter of women of reproductive age on Medicaid are Latinas. Currently, only 17 states use their own funds to cover all or most medically necessary abortions.
“At a time of economic crisis and while the nation struggles with a broken health care system, the White House has chosen to substitute ideology for reasonable health care policy, denying poor Latinas the right to have an abortion legally and safely,” said Silvia Henriquez, NLIRH Executive Director. “This decision perpetuates a two-tier system in the U.S.: women with private health insurance or private funds can access abortion, but poor women cannot.”
“Latinas will once again be forced to use money that’s needed for rent, bills and food to pay for an abortion,” NLIRH Deputy Director Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas said. “They will face greater economic hardship and even the risk of an unsafe, self-induced abortion.”

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