The Carrboro Board of Aldermen recently voted unanimously to pass a resolution calling for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal insurance funds for abortions except in circumstances where the life of the mother is endangered.
The resolution, adopted during the Board's Oct. 16 meeting, affirms Carrboro’s support for safe and comprehensive health care for all women.
The Hyde Amendment was introduced in 1977, three years after Roe v. Wade, in order to block women on Medicaid from using their insurance to fund abortions.
The amendment has been reenacted every year since its introduction and blocks federal funding of abortions for women who receive their health care from the government, including those enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, Native Americans, federal employees, current members of the military, veterans, Peace Corps volunteers and citizens of Washington, D.C.
“We just came upon the anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, and that’s what prompted us to do the resolution,” Board of Aldermen member Damon Seils said.
The board called on NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina to help draft the resolution. NARAL is a state-wide organization that works to protect reproductive rights. Lynne Walter, the advocacy and organizing manager at NARAL N.C., directly helped Seils draft the resolution.
In the drafting process, they found that approximately 400,000 people in North Carolina and more than 2,000 people in Orange County could be subject to bans on insurance coverage of abortion.
“Part of our work is to end the shame and stigma associated with abortion. This resolution is an opportunity for local municipalities to show that they support access to abortion,” Walter said.
Seils said Carrboro is one of several municipalities across the country, including Durham County, that is passing these kinds of resolutions and expressing their opinions on the Hyde Amendment.
Walter said NARAL has been working with both national partners and local North Carolina municipalities to pass these resolutions.
“These resolutions have been calling for the federal appeal of the Hyde Amendment and reaffirming that they believe in the right of their constituents to have control over their own bodies,” she said.
According to Seils, this, like most resolutions, simply states the Aldermen’s position on the issue because the board is not able to change federal policy.
“It’s an effort to build awareness and to continue the push for repeal of that amendment in general and ensure access to reproductive healthcare,” he said.
Walter said while the resolution has no immediate impact on Carrboro's citizens, it’s important the Aldermen made this statement to show their support for women.
“It gives folks something positive to highlight and to lift up since on the federal level things are dark and on the state level it’s pretty dark too,” she said.
To make their position public, the Board resolved to send copies of the resolution to Gov. Roy Cooper, senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and Rep. David Price.
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