In the years leading up to and following the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion nationwide, the federal government—primarily Congress—has enacted various measures governing the availability of federal funds for abortion and related services. The Medicaid program, established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 to provide health care for low-income Americans, began subsidizing abortions shortly after Roe.
Of what has now become a patchwork of funding restrictions on abortion, the most well-known is the Hyde Amendment. First passed in September 1976, the Hyde Amendment—named for its sponsor, Rep. Henry Hyde—prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions or health plans that include abortion coverage, with certain exceptions. The Hyde Amendment has passed as a rider to annual appropriations bills every year since.
This fact sheet provides a concise timeline laying out the various funding restrictions on abortion enacted by the federal government since 1970, while noting changes in the various restrictions insofar as exceptions to the rule are concerned.
To view the full fact sheet with more detail, please see: lozierinstitute.org/federal-funding-restrictions-on-abortion.