Protesters march across Austin against anti-abortion amendment

AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) -- Protesters will take to the streets to voice their stance against a law passed 40 years ago that makes it harder for Texas women to pay for abortions.

Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of the federal passage of the Hyde amendment. It is a provision that stops the use of certain federal funds, like Medicaid, to pay for abortions. The only exception is to save the live of a mother or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.

Pro-Choice groups will march from the State Capitol to Interstate 35 in opposition of the amendment. They plan to drop a banner on the 11th Street Bridge so drivers will see their message during rush hour at 5:30 p.m.

The law was named after Republican Rep. Henry Hyde. He sponsored the amendment saying it would target low-income women.

"I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman or a poor woman," Hyde told Congress in 1977. "Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the (Medicaid) bill."

Those against the law say it keeps low-income women from access to legal medical procedures. The cost of a first-trimester abortion is around $500.

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