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Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, “isn’t about abortion, per se,” during a Sunday interview on “ABC This Week.”


“I’m encourage by the fact that he is now against the Hyde Amendment,” Ocasio-Cortez said, responding to a question from ABC’s Jonathan Karl about former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent reversal on the issue. She called it a “base level of where all candidates need to be.”

“Reproductive health care for incarcerated women should be guaranteed as it is with all women in the United States, so I think it really depends,” said the New York congresswoman. “And that’s really what the Hyde Amendment is really about. The Hyde Amendment isn’t about abortion per se. The Hyde Amendment is truly about equality of healthcare and healthcare access for low income women and women of color and women that get caught in our mass incarceration system. And so the Hyde Amendment is about income inequality and it’s about women’s healthcare in a system of income inequality. So I think that we need to repeal it.”

Ocasio-Cortez began a petition over the weekend to repeal the amendment, citing its effect on “low income Americans and people of color.” (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez: Abortion Ban Is About Fundamentalists Trying To ‘Outlaw Sex’)

“It’s not the 70s anymore,” she wrote in an email sent to supporters, The Hill reported. “This is 2019, and none of our leaders should be willing to stand by a policy that disproportionately harms low income Americans and people of color just to suit the interests of anti-choice zealots. That ends now. We’re going to fight to repeal the Hyde Amendment, and let people access the care that they need.”

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