Open Letter to Rep. Tom Suozzi: Support A Ban On Hyde — Now
September 30, 2019
Office of Representative Tom Suozzi
478A Park Avenue
Huntington, NY 11743
Dear Representative Suozzi,
Today marks 43 years since Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, blocking low-income women from equal access to abortion. We elected you because you pledged to fight for Democratic priorities — yet now that you are in office, you refuse to support a ban on the Hyde Amendment. We are deeply disappointed by your persistent refusal to stand with the women in your district. We call on you to reverse your position and support a ban on Hyde immediately.
Your anti-choice record goes beyond supporting Hyde. You regularly stigmatize women by demanding we “reduce abortion” — using conservative language that helps fuel Republican anti-choice legislation. And you funded multiple abstinence-only programs as county executive.
The Hyde Amendment bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. That means that women on Medicaid must pay for the routine, safe, and legal procedure out of pocket — often costing low-income women thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Hyde’s passage transformed the right to choose — affirmed in Roe a mere three years prior — from a universal right to a class-determined privilege.
Trump has taken the precedent set by Hyde and run with it. From appointing anti-choice judges to federal courts to passing and enforcing the Title X Gag Rule, Trump’s administration has a clear anti-women agenda. This is no time for silence. Democrats need to make clear that we will fight for reproductive justice. Democrats like you, who remain silently on the sidelines as these attacks compound, are actively enabling a GOP strategy that hurts millions of Americans.
The tide on Hyde is turning. In 2019, more and more Congressional Democrats are calling for the repeal of Hyde. Time and again, we have begged you to reverse course and join your colleagues in demanding for Hyde’s repeal — and you’ve refused. We are ashamed that our own representative refuses to stand up for the accessible right to choose. A future without Hyde will mean that every person in America can control their own reproductive healthcare. Enough is enough — reverse your position on Hyde now.
Amy Barker Deptuch
Amanda Perez Leder