EXCERPT: 

In what is the first significant shift to the party line on abortion in decades, Democrats will approve a platform at theDemocratic national convention in Philadelphia that explicitly calls for elected officials to overturn Hyde.

But in a sharp departure from how abortion issues normally percolate, the loudest calls for the repeal of Hyde did not originate with groups such as Planned Parenthood or Naral Pro-Choice America – groups that have set the agenda for abortion rights supporters for decades. Instead, the calls originated with groups such as the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and SisterSong.

“Women of color leaders have been calling for the repeal of Hyde for decades when most mainstream reproductive rights groups did not prioritize this issue,” said Jessica González-Rojas, director of the National Latina Institute and an All Above All co-chair.

The result is a movement that overtly fuses one of the modern Democratic party’s most established positions – support for abortion rights – with the interests of the activists who increasingly represent the demographic future of the party.

The target is substantial. Hyde is one of the biggest barriers to abortion left standing, after the supreme court in June struck down health restrictions with no basis in evidence.

It is not a law, but a rider that has been attached to every one of Congress’ annual appropriations bills since 1976, when it was first introduced by the congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois. Today, the amendment prevents abortion coverage for some seven million women, about half of whom live below the federal poverty line. The only exceptions to the ban are when a woman’s health or life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape.

“I would argue that it’s the harshest abortion restriction still on the books today,” said Destiny Lopez, who is co-director of All Above All, a network of reproductive rights advocates that is leading the first serious push to repeal the Hyde amendment in decades.

An All Above All letter addressed to the Democratic platform drafting committee read, “Coverage bans represent a deeply entrenched injustice, where issues of economic injustice, racism, and gender inequity come together.”

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