For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Contact: [email protected]
Washington, DC — Today, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate released a spending bill to fund the federal government for the 2022 fiscal year. Last year, the House advanced and the Senate introduced historic spending bills free of abortion coverage restrictions. Unfortunately, anti-choice lawmakers used their power to undermine reproductive freedom, adding in bans on coverage of abortion care in the final bill and refusing to sufficiently fund critical domestic and global reproductive freedom programs.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President of Communications and Research Kristin Ford released the following statement in response:
“Thanks to our reproductive freedom champions in Congress, this year’s appropriations process included historic wins for abortion access when the U.S. House passed and the Senate introduced spending bills without discriminatory bans on coverage of abortion care. We are immensely grateful to our partners in the reproductive justice movement for their leadership and to the women of color who have led the fight against these discriminatory restrictions for decades. Unfortunately, there is still a long road ahead to ensure that abortion coverage bans are a relic of the past. Abortion access is under attack from every angle imaginable, and it is more important than ever that we fight back against anti-choice politicians’ efforts to block care and ensure that everybody—no matter where they live or how much money they make—has the freedom to make their own decisions about their families and futures with dignity and respect.”
For decades, Congress has included bans and restrictions on abortion coverage as policy riders in its federal spending bills. The bill released today includes the Hyde Amendment’s discriminatory ban on coverage of abortion care for those who receive their health insurance through Medicaid, those in the Peace Corps, and people who are incarcerated and restrictions barring Washington, DC from using its own locally raised funds to provide coverage for abortion care. The Hyde Amendment disproportionately harms people who are already marginalized by our healthcare system, including women of color, young people, and transgender and non-binary people. Additionally, the bill includes the Weldon Amendment, a harmful rider that has been used to interfere with policies that protect and expand abortion care and coverage at the federal, state, and local levels. The bill also fails to provide an increase to Title X funding, the nation’s only federal program dedicated to providing affordable contraception and other family planning services to people who are uninsured or underinsured.
This bill does not move to permanently end the global gag rule, which denies global assistance to overseas health centers unless they agree not to use their own, private funds for abortion care, counseling, or even to take a public position supporting reproductive freedom. It also falls short of adequately funding international family planning programs and includes the Helms Amendment, which prohibits the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds for abortion care.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, 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 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.