For Immediate Release: July 29, 2021
Contact: [email protected]
Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a federal spending bill for the fiscal year 2022 free of bans on coverage of abortion care, including the Hyde Amendment’s long-standing ban on coverage for people insured through Medicaid and the bans on coverage of abortion care for District of Columbia residents and federal government employees. This bill is also free of the anti-choice Weldon Amendment, which emboldens a broad variety of healthcare entities—including hospitals, insurance companies, and individual healthcare professionals—to deny care, coverage, or referrals for abortion. Additionally, the bill includes increased funding for programs that protect and expand reproductive freedom.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Chief Campaigns and Advocacy Officer Christian LoBue released the following statement in response:
“The passage of this spending bill is a historic victory for reproductive freedom and for pregnant people and families working to make ends meet. Today’s vote represents the culmination of a years-long effort led by women of color to end harmful bans on coverage of abortion care. We wouldn’t be here today without their work and the dedication of reproductive freedom champions in Congress who have tirelessly fought back against anti-choice efforts to strip away and block access to abortion care.
At this moment, when abortion access is under attack from every angle imaginable, all eyes are on the Senate to take bold action to advance reproductive freedom and pass this bill to ensure that every body can access the care they need.”
For the first time in more than four decades, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a federal spending bill without the Hyde Amendment’s ban on coverage of abortion care for people insured through Medicaid. Bans on coverage of abortion care disproportionately harm people who are already marginalized by our healthcare system, including women of color, young people, and transgender and non-binary people. Prior to this year, Congress has included these bans and restrictions on coverage of abortion care as policy riders in its federal spending bills.
This bill also includes increased funding for programs that protect and expand reproductive freedom including the Title X Family Planning Program and evidence-based sex education programs. The bill eliminates funding for a failed abstinence-only sex education program.
These victories for abortion access come as attacks on reproductive freedom have escalated across the country and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Just last week, the state of Mississippi filed its opening brief in the case explicitly asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. With a barrage of attacks at the state level and a direct challenge to Roe before the Supreme Court, the stakes for reproductive freedom are higher than ever. This year alone, anti-choice lawmakers have introduced, advanced, or passed more than 315 restrictions and attacks on abortion care at the state level. As of this month, over 90 restrictions on abortion access have been enacted at the state level, making 2021 the worst year for abortion rights since the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.