Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and dozens of others Democrats have introduced legislation aimed at lifting federal restrictions on abortion that have been in place for decades.

Her Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act would gut the so-called Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion except in instances of rape, incest or "where a physical condition endangers a woman's life unless an abortion is performed." The amendment has been reinstated annually since it first appeared in 1976, and is seen as a bipartisan compromise on the controversial issue of abortion.

"In essence the bill would end the harmful Hyde Amendment policies that restrict a woman's ability to make the best healthcare decisions for herself and her family," Lee's office said in a press release.

The bill would return abortion coverage for people who get coverage under Medicaid and Medicare, are enrolled in a government-managed health insurance program under their employer or are covered by a government provider such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to All Above All, an organization that "unites organizations and individuals to build support for lifting the bans that deny abortion coverage," according to its website.

Kimberly Inez McGuire, director of public affairs for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, said this is a "game-changer" for low-income, minority and young women all over the nation. She said that before the Hyde Amendment was first passed in 1976, Medicaid did cover abortion, and that Lee's bill would lift these bans and allow women to seek coverage for abortions just as they would for pregnancies and contraceptives.

McGuire said that in recent years, lawmakers have cracked down and tightened control on abortion. This makes reproductive healthcare "less accessible and less affordable" for women who may have to choose between buying groceries or paying rent and having an abortion.

"Each and every day, the rights of women are under attack in America — today, we push back because every person has a right to healthcare," Lee said in her press release. "Regardless of how someone personally feels about abortion, none of us, especially elected officials, should be interfering with a woman's right to make her own healthcare decisions just because she is poor."

The bill is co-sponsored by 70 House Democrats.

A Hart Research poll found that 86 percent of voters surveyed agreed that "however we feel about abortion, politicians should not be allowed to deny a woman's health coverage because she is poor," according to the press release. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans surveyed agreed. The bill is also supported by 33 national and state organizations.