For Immediate Release: April 10, 2018

Contact: Tara Romano, tara@prochoicenc.org

Durham County Passes Resolution Supporting Insurance Coverage for Abortion Care

Durham County becomes the fourteenth locality to send a strong message in support of affordable access to abortion care

DURHAM COUNTY, NC—Sending a strong signal in support of affordable access to abortion care, the Durham County Board of Commissioners last night passed a resolution calling for the federal government to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal Medicaid coverage of abortion. The introduction of the resolution was an effort led by NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, in coalition with 13 state and local partners (listed below), and is the latest in a series of resolutions supporting insurance coverage of abortion to be adopted by local governing bodies across the United States over the past four years.

For 41 years, politicians have used the Hyde Amendment to deny coverage of abortion care for those enrolled in government-sponsored insurance programs, including low-income individuals who qualify for Medicaid, Native American women, and residents who serve in the military, volunteer for the Peace Corps, or are serving time in federal prison. While 17 states use their own funds to provide insurance coverage for abortion, North Carolina is not among them. In fact, North Carolina has some of the most extensive bans on insurance coverage of abortion in the country, including prohibitions against state teacher and employee insurance plans, city and county employee insurance plans, and all plans offered through the state’s insurance marketplace from covering abortion. This means that a large swath of the North Carolina population experiences a ban on insurance coverage for abortion.

These bans are in line with North Carolina’s propensity to aggressively limit the ability of local governments to make decisions that align with their community’s needs and values. In 2016, Durham County openly opposed HB2, the discriminatory law that eliminated municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and living wage ordinances, by calling out the fact that it “greatly [diminished] local governments’ authority to govern in the best interest of their local citizens.” On Monday, Durham County once again asserted the important role that local government plays in making policy that works for the people who live in Durham County, including by determining the benefits their own employees receive from county government insurance plans.

Last night’s County resolution calls for the repeal of the federal Hyde amendment and calls on President Trump and Governor Cooper to actively support these and all other measures to ensure and protect the rights of women, transgender, and gender-nonconforming individuals everywhere to have unhindered access to safe and comprehensive health care.

By taking its latest bold step, Durham County is now the 14th locality to show its commitment to protecting the rights of people everywhere to have unhindered access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion care.

“Lifting the bans that deny abortion coverage helps ensure that each of us has the support we need to make our own decisions about pregnancy, helps prevent vulnerable people from being pushed into poverty, and allows our families to thrive. We’d so proud that Durham County has taken a necessary and principled stand on this crucial issue,” said Tara Romano, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.

​“The decision to become a parent is too important and too personal for lawmakers to interfere. Here in Durham County, local government is making it known that they support pregnant person’s decisions and call on Congress and the state of North Carolina to lift the coverage bans that ​deny​ ​low-income North Carolinians ​the​ ​power​ ​to​ ​decide​ ​their​ ​own​ ​futures,” said Omisade Burney-Scott, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.

With this resolution, Durham County joins the strong and growing movement underway to eliminate the unequal, harmful, and discriminatory policies that prey on vulnerable communities and have a disproportionate impact on low-income women, women of color, immigrant women, and young women. On the federal level, this movement calls for passage of the EACH Woman Act, which would restore federal coverage of abortion and prohibit politicians from imposing bans on public or private coverage on the federal, state, or local level. Since 2013, All* Above All and the National Institute for Reproductive Health have partnered with local advocates across the country to pass resolutions that boldly state support for abortion coverage and call on federal and state elected officials to reinstate the abortion coverage that has been denied to some women since 1976.

Among the localities that have passed similar proclamations are Boston; Cambridge, Mass.; Cook County, IL; Ithaca, NY; Los Angeles; Madison, WI.; New York, NY; Philadelphia (Board of Health); Philadelphia (City Council); Pittsburgh; San Francisco; Seattle; Travis County, TX; and Multnomah County, OR. See details about all the local effort to oppose the Hyde Amendment and support insurance coverage for abortion care here.

Coalition

ACLU of North Carolina
Action NC
American Association of University Women of North Carolina
Carolina Abortion Fund
Equality NC
Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle Chapter
NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina
National Association of Social Workers, North Carolina Chapter
North Carolina Justice Center
North Carolina National Organization for Women
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic
SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
Social Action Committee of Judea Reform Congregation
Southerners on New Ground

###

Back to News