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Democrats Ask Donald Trump to Allow Federal Funding for Abortions

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Over 100 Democrats asked President-elect Donald Trump to repeal one of the biggest barriers for low-income and minority women seeking abortions.

The Cut reported that 106 members of Congress sent a letter to Trump on Monday asking him to repeal the Hyde Amendment, a controversial bill passed in 1976 that bars federal funding from being used to cover the cost of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother is in danger. That means that federal employees, federal dependents and women enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid — disproportionately women of color — can’t get abortions covered by their insurance.

“For too long, low-income women and women of color have shouldered the burden of our country’s restrictive reproductive health laws,” the letter, which was sent to Trump and first obtained by BuzzFeed News, reads. “Together, we ask that you send a strong signal that this will no longer be the legacy of the United States.”

Democrats have ramped up their efforts to repeal the Hyde Amendment this year, but Trump — who has supported abortion rights in the past, maintained an anti-abortion stance throughout the 2016 presidential campaign — has signaled that the Hyde Amendment will remain in tact in his administration. In a letter sent by Trump to anti-abortion rights advocates in September, Trump vowed to make the Hyde Amendment a permanent law and defund Planned Parenthood if they continue to perform abortions.

But Democrats hope their plea will convince Trump otherwise. “Every person should be treated with dignity, compassion and respect — and that includes upholding a woman’s right to make her own decisions about whether to end a pregnancy,” they wrote.

[BuzzFeed News]

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Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com