The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s reproductive rights intern is calling in an op-ed in its hometown newspaper for Wisconsin’s senior senator to respect science.
FFRF Anne Nicol Gaylor Reproductive Rights Intern Barbara Alvarez is urging in the Madison, Wisconsin, Cap Times Sen. Ron Johnson to approve without deleterious anti-abortion provisions a budget that the House of Representatives recently passed.
The piece explains:
For the first time in 45 years, the House of Representatives has passed a federal budget excluding the draconian Hyde and Weldon Amendments. Both of these appropriations riders severely restrict abortion access to women throughout the country, including in Wisconsin. The Hyde Amendment, first proposed by Rep. Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, denies affordable abortion care to low-income women on Medicaid (one in five women in the United States), as well as those on the Indian Health Services Plan and in the Peace Corps, unless their state is one of the few to cover such care. The Weldon Amendment, initially introduced in 2005, unwisely allows health care providers to refuse to cover, provide, pay or refer someone for an abortion based on “religious or moral grounds.”
Alvarez then goes on to outline how, contrary to anti-abortion propaganda, abortion is a very safe procedure. She also spells out the various ways in which the two amendments harm women’s health and well-being in states such as Wisconsin.
“As one of 33 states that do not provide abortion care under the Hyde Amendment, health inequalities are exacerbated here,” she writes. “Maternal health in Wisconsin is among the poorest in the nation and maternal mortality for Black women is five times higher than for white women. Instead of denying comprehensive reproductive health care, we should be expanding it.”
The column concludes with an appeal: “Sen. Johnson needs to do the right thing and approve the federal budget without the Hyde and Weldon Amendments.”
You can read the full op-ed here.
This column is a part of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s initiative to engage with pertinent issues at the national and the state levels and spread the messages of freethought and nontheism to a mainstream audience.