For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Washington, DC — Today, the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations released its spending bill for the fiscal year 2022. This historic bill is free of abortion coverage restrictions including the long-standing ban on coverage of abortion care for District of Columbia residents and a ban on coverage of abortion care for federal government employees.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Chief Campaigns and Advocacy Officer Christian LoBue released the following statement in response:
“This is a monumental moment for reproductive freedom. We are thrilled to see this year’s first federal spending bill released without harmful bans on abortion coverage that we know disproportionately harm people working to make ends meet, especially women of color, young people, and transgender and non-binary people. This historic moment was made possible by the leadership of the reproductive justice movement and women of color who have spent decades working to ensure that access to abortion care is not dependent on how much money someone makes or how they get their insurance. Now, Congress must pass this spending bill and bring us closer toward a future where reproductive freedom is truly a reality for every body.”
For years, anti-choice Congressional lawmakers added abortion coverage bans as policy riders to federal spending bills, including restrictions prohibiting insurance coverage of abortion through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and barring DC from using its own locally raised funds to provide coverage for abortion care. The first federal spending bill introduced in this year’s appropriations process is free of the ban on abortion coverage for federal employees and the harmful DC abortion coverage ban. We are hopeful that leaders in Congress will build on this action and protect and expand reproductive freedom by ensuring that all bans on abortion coverage and funding are removed from the fiscal year 2022 federal spending bills. Lifting bans on abortion coverage helps ensure a world where people working to make ends meet can make their own decisions about their health, families, and future with dignity.
Today’s victory for abortion access comes as the threats to reproductive freedom are more acute 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.
In the midst of these unyielding attacks, the U.S. Supreme Court announced last month 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. It is critical that Congress take action to protect access to abortion care—not only by removing harmful bans and restrictions on abortion care, but also passing the Women’s Health Protection Act to safeguard the legal right to abortion in the United States before the Supreme Court has the opportunity to gut or overturn 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.