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Law & the Courts

Tim Ryan Says U.S. Must ‘Get Rid of the Hyde Amendment’

Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) speaks in Washington, D.C., April 10, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Tim Ryan, the Ohio congressman and Democratic presidential candidate, said Wednesday on MSNBC that he supports scrapping the so-called Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother’s life.

“We’ve got to start winning elections,” Ryan said. “I mean, we’re losing elections in these states. Of course we’ve got to fund Planned Parenthood. We’ve got to get rid of the Hyde Amendment. We’ve got to make sure we invest into women’s health care. But the reality is we’ve got to win elections.”

“We now have the federal courts peppered with conservative pro-life justices. The Supreme Court is a conservative pro-life court,” he added. “We’ve got to start moving in the right direction here politically and getting elected so that we appoint the judges and we win elections in these states.”

Other Democratic presidential candidates, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former vice president Joe Biden, have also promised to work to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

The abortion debate has taken center stage in recent months as several states have passed stringent abortion bans, forcing Democratic candidates to outline exactly how far they will go to protect abortion rights. Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Ohio have all passed strict abortion bans, many of which are currently tied up in the courts. The measures, especially the Alabama law, were crafted to spark legal challenges that would ultimately leave the issue in the hands of the new, conservative Supreme Court majority.

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