White House officials report their intent to force anti-choice provision into COVID-19 response and relief bill
For Immediate Release: March 12, 2020
Contact: [email protected]
Washington, DC — Today, as the United States House of Representatives works to pass a bill responding to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration exploited the urgency and gravity of the situation to attack reproductive health care. White House officials aimed to insert a ban on abortion coverage into the bill, potentially derailing the response and relief package before it even passed out of the United States House of Representatives.
Statement from NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue:
“With no good reason to oppose the life-saving coronavirus package, the Trump-Pence White House and GOP have resorted to craven lies and disinformation. Their actions are, quite frankly, unconscionable. The American people are craving strong leadership, accurate information, and focused action right now, and what they are getting from Republican leaders is the exact opposite. This is an abhorrent move that puts us all at risk. They should reverse course immediately and vote yes on this package.”
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“It is sickening to watch the Trump-Pence administration exploit the coronavirus pandemic as another opportunity to attack reproductive health care and push disinformation. In this moment of crisis, our communities need leadership and decisive action to expand access to health care. Instead, the Trump administration is attempting to hijack vital legislation that will provide relief, care, and support by attempting to sneak a ban on abortion coverage into this much-needed bill. It’s been crystal clear from the beginning that the Trump administration prioritizes taking health care away from as many people as possible — even smack in the middle of a public health emergency.”
Statement from Kelsey Ryland, Director of Federal Strategies, All* Above All:
“Anti-abortion politicians in Congress and the Trump administration reached an unconscionable, shameful low today by attempting to use the coronavirus relief bill to advance their anti-abortion agenda. Co-opting an emergency funding bill to ban abortion coverage in the midst of a public health crisis is offensive and dangerous. People who are struggling to make ends meet and are already failed by our health care system, including women of color, will bear the brunt of the pandemic. We need fair wages, paid sick leave to care for ourselves and our loved ones, and a health care system that works for everyone — not bans on abortion coverage.”
Statement from Yamani Hernandez, Executive Director, National Network of Abortion Funds:
“It’s immoral to use the declaration of a global pandemic to turn people who need abortions into pawns for cheap political points. In a moment when legislators need to turn towards science and data to stem the tide of a public health crisis that threatens the most vulnerable among us, anti-abortion extremists are instead using fear to opportunistically sneak through ideologically cruel and medically unsound restrictions. We all deserve accurate and accessible healthcare, and this is no time to ram through ways to instead restrict people from any health care needs.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.
All* Above All unites organizations and individuals to build support for lifting the bans that deny abortion coverage. Our vision is to restore insurance coverage so that each of us, however much we make, can get affordable, safe abortion care when we need it.
The National Network of Abortion Funds builds power with members to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice. We envision a world where every reproductive decision, including abortion, takes place in thriving communities that are safe, peaceful, and affordable. We envision a world where all people have the power and resources to care for and affirm their bodies, identities, and health for themselves and their families—in all areas of their lives. As we shift the conversation about abortion, it will become a real option, accessible without shame or judgment.