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District of Columbia: Did You Know?

Did you know that in 2009, for the first time in 15 years, Congress lifted an unfair ban that blocked low-income women in D.C. from accessing abortion?

From 1995 until the end of 2009, Congress prohibited the District of Columbia from using its own locally raised revenues for abortion services for low-income women, except in rare circumstances. This restriction directly usurped the rights of the local D.C. government and residents, and negatively affected the health and lives of low-income women in the District.  President Obama's FY'10 budget proposal recommended that this discriminatory restriction be lifted, and Congress followed suit, voting down anti-choice amendments that would have reinstated the ban.  In December 2009, both chambers passed bills that renewed funding for D.C. without reimposing the abortion ban, and President Obama signed this package into law on December 16, 2009.  The 2010 D.C. Medicaid contract includes coverage for abortion care.

P.L. 104-69; Jodi Jacobson, House Committee Votes to Allow DC to Fund Abortions for Low-Income Women; Bill Moves Soon to Full House Vote, RH Reality Check, Jul. 7, 2009, at (last visited Jul. 28, 2009); Henry Pulizzi, Obama Signs Omnibus Spending Bill Into Law, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 16, 2009.

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