U.S. Funding for Abortion: How the Helms and Hyde Amendments Harm Women and Providers

More than 40 years ago, the Helms Amendment became the first abortion funding restriction enacted by the U.S. Congress. Three years after its enactment, in 1976, the Hyde Amendment, which also restricts abortion funding, was put into place through the annual appropriations process. Both restrictions make it difficult for the most vulnerable women to access safe abortion. And while the Helms Amendment prohibits funding for abortion through U.S. foreign aid, the Hyde Amendment prohibits coverage of abortion in the United States through federally funded health insurance programs like Medicaid.

The Helms and Hyde restrictions disproportionately affect young, poor, women of color across the globe.