For Immediate Release: Friday, May 28, 2021
Washington, DC — Today, President Joe Biden submitted his presidential budget to begin the annual process of funding the federal government. President Biden’s historic budget is free of the Hyde Amendment for the first time in decades and excludes the DC abortion ban, which prohibits DC from using its own, locally raised funds to provide insurance coverage of abortion to people working to make ends meet in the District of Columbia.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Chief Campaigns and Advocacy Officer Christian LoBue released the following statement in response:
“Today’s presidential budget is the latest example of the Biden-Harris administration fulfilling its commitments and campaign promises to advance reproductive freedom. Discriminatory abortion coverage bans disproportionately harm people working to make ends meet, especially women of color, young people, and transgender and non-binary people. At a time when reproductive freedom is under unprecedented attack, and the legal right to abortion is hanging on by a tenuous thread, this critical step from the Biden administration is more important than ever.
A presidential budget reflects the values of an administration and the Biden-Harris administration is sending a clear message that reproductive freedom is central to the pursuit of equity and justice. This would not be possible without the hard work and strong leadership of the reproductive justice movement whose tireless work has brought us closer to a future where access to abortion care doesn’t depend on how much money someone earns, how they are insured, or where they live.”
As our nation begins the challenging process of recovering from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration’s proposed investments in reproductive health and family planning programs like the Title X program and international family planning programs, including contributions to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), are critical to ensure that people have access to the care they need in their communities. Investments in global health would also be strengthened by ending the Helms Amendment and ensuring that U.S. foreign assistance funding supports comprehensive reproductive healthcare—including abortion care.
The stakes for reproductive freedom are higher than ever before. This year alone, anti-choice lawmakers have introduced, advanced, or passed more than 300 restrictions and attacks on abortion care at the state level. In the midst of these unyielding attacks, the U.S. Supreme Court announced last week that it will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade that violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent.
While the Biden-Harris administration’s actions today undoubtedly advance reproductive freedom, we are disappointed that some policies curtailing access to abortion care in the United States and around the world, like certain abortion coverage bans and the Weldon and Helms Amendments, remain in the president’s budget. It’s critical that Congress builds on the steps taken today and prioritize protecting and expanding access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare—including abortion care—by eliminating restrictions on abortion coverage for federal employees, Peace Corps volunteers, people who are incarcerated, and others, restrictions on the use of foreign assistance for abortion care like the Helms Amendment and denial of care policies like the Weldon Amendment from Congressional spending bills. The anti-choice Weldon Amendment emboldens a broad variety of healthcare entities—including hospitals, insurance companies, and individual health care professionals—to deny care, coverage, or referrals for abortion.
Despite the anti-choice movement’s relentless efforts to restrict reproductive freedom and ban abortion, the vast majority of Americans support reproductive freedom. Polling has found that 77% support Roe v. Wade, and there is no state in the country where banning abortion is popular.
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.