1976 September 29

Hyde Amendment Bars Federal Funds for Abortion


Congress on this day passed the Hyde Amendment, which barred federal funds for abortion. The Hyde Amendment was revised and re-enacted several times over the years.

The original 1876 Hyde Amendment did not include an exception for rape or incest or for the health of the mother. Those exceptions were added to the 1980 version of the amendment (see below).

The Supreme Court, by a vote of 5-4 in Harris v. McRea, upheld the constitutionality of the Hyde Amendment on June 30, 1980.

The Hyde Amendment was the first of many efforts by Congress and state legislatures to limit access to abortion following the landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, on January 22, 1973, striking down state criminal abortion laws.

The 1980 version of the Hyde Amendment:

“[N]one of the funds provided by this joint resolution shall be used to perform abortions except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term; or except for such medical procedures necessary for the victims of rape or incest when such rape or incest has been reported promptly to a law enforcement agency or public health service.”

Learn more about the early history of abortion in America: James C. Mohr, Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy, 1800–1900 (1978)

Learn more at the Planned Parenthood web sitehttp://www.plannedparenthood.org/

Check out a timeline on abortion rights history: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

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