For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 1, 2021
Anti-choice lawmakers once again attempted to add bans and restrictions on abortion care in FY22 federal spending bills
Washington, DC — Today, the House Committee on Appropriations voted to advance the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) subcommittee’s historic spending bill upholding reproductive freedom. This funding bill lifts the ban on abortion coverage for Peace Corps volunteers, removes the anti-choice Helms Amendment, and moves to permanently end the global gag rule. This bill also allocates increased funding for international family planning programs, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
NARAL Pro-Choice America Chief Campaigns and Advocacy Officer Christian LoBue released the following statement in response:
“Reproductive freedom prevailed again during today’s Appropriations Committee vote, and we are grateful to the champions in Congress who stood strong against anti-choice attacks. Anti-choice lawmakers’ efforts to undermine reproductive freedom and dismantle access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion care, make clear just how willing they are to prioritize their unpopular ideology above the health, well-being, and freedom of pregnant people and families around the world. Congress must swiftly pass this spending bill to ensure every body has the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives, bodies, and futures.”
For years, anti-choice Congressional lawmakers have added abortion coverage bans and restrictions as policy riders to federal spending bills. This historic spending bill removes anti-choice policies, including the Helms Amendment, which prohibits U.S. foreign assistance funds from being used for abortion care, and the long-standing ban on coverage of abortion care for Peace Corps volunteers. It also includes a provision to permanently end the global gag rule, which denies global assistance to overseas health centers unless they agree not to use their own, private funds for abortion care, counseling, or even to take a public position supporting reproductive freedom. This bill also includes a significant increase in funding for international family planning programs and UNFPA. By lifting these draconian bans and restrictions, this historic spending bill protects access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for people around the world.
When in place, these anti-choice policies disproportionately harm women, girls, LGBTQ people, and others who face systemic barriers to care. Anti-choice lawmakers’ decades-long effort to export anti-choice ideology overseas has pushed lifesaving care—including abortion—out of reach for people and communities who already have limited access to the care they need.
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.