On October 3, 1977, Rosaura Jiménez died in Texas of an illegal abortion, becoming the first known woman to die because of the Hyde Amendment, which eliminated federal Medicaid funding for abortion.
Congress first adopted the Hyde Amendment on September 30, 1976, but it did not go into effect until August 4, 1977. Within just two months, it had driven a woman to take desperate steps that resulted in her death.
What do we know about Rosaura Jiménez? Rosie, as she was known, was a 27 year-old Latina college student and single mother. Rosie was six months away from graduating with a teaching credential – a ticket to a better life for her and her daughter, who was just five years old at the time.
Rosie had a $700 scholarship check in her purse when she died. She went to a doctor in her hometown of McAllen, Texas to ask for an abortion, but the doctor wouldn’t provide one because Medicaid would no longer reimburse the service. So determined was she to complete her education that instead of using her scholarship money to pay for an abortion out of pocket, she crossed the border into Mexico and obtained a cheaper, illegal, and unsafe abortion there.
This is why we need to fight for abortion access for ALL people - there are many barriers that exist that are often forgotten about when we talk about abortion rights. We need to repeal Hyde. I would be happy to have my tax dollars to assist low-income people in need of abortions.