By Cheryl Berenson, NCJW Washington State Policy Advocate
In all of my years advocating for progressive issues, only a few instances have produced success in such a short period of time!
Last November, I flew from my home in Seattle to Washington, DC, to represent NCJW for the launch of the All Above All campaign to eliminate the Hyde Amendment (“Hyde”). This harmful policy was first anchored to the US budget in 1976 and has been reaffirmed by politicians in Congress every year since then, continuing its destructive impact on women across America. Under Hyde, women serving in our military, those enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, federal employees, Peace Corps volunteers, women in prison, and our American Indian communities are all blocked from accessing insurance coverage of abortion — simply because they are poor or obtain their health care through a federal program. This is discrimination. And, making abortion more difficult to obtain, this policy erodes a woman’s moral and bodily autonomy; it denies her the ability to make her own faith-informed decision about whether to end a pregnancy, become a parent, or choose adoption.