For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Washington, DC — Today, the House Committee on Appropriations voted to pass a federal spending bill free of abortion coverage restrictions including the ban on coverage of abortion care for District of Columbia residents and the long-standing ban on coverage of abortion care for federal government employees. This bill received majority support despite anti-choice lawmakers’ efforts to include bans on coverage of abortion care for DC residents and federal employees.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Chief Campaigns and Advocacy Officer Christian LoBue released the following statement in response:
“We are grateful to be able to celebrate this important victory at a time when reproductive freedom and the legal right to abortion face unprecedented threats. Anti-choice, anti-freedom lawmakers tried and failed to include the Hyde Amendment during today’s vote. Their repeated attacks on abortion access and efforts to ban coverage of abortion care most directly impact people of color working to make ends meet. Thanks to the steadfast leadership of women of color and the reproductive justice movement, as well as the work of reproductive freedom champions in Congress, these attacks on abortion access were defeated. Now, Congress must take action to protect access to care by removing all bans on abortion coverage from federal spending bills.”
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 federal spending bill advanced today by the Appropriations Committee is free of the ban on abortion coverage for federal employees for the first time in decades and the harmful DC abortion coverage ban.
This victory for abortion access comes as reproductive freedom faces a barrage of attacks. 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 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.