The 113th Congress was another busy time for extremist politicians looking to make abortion and even contraception impossible to access. As detailed in the Center for Reproductive Rights’ new report, “Fighting Back: Reclaiming Reproductive Rights in the 113th Congress and Beyond,” however, this past Congress also saw legislators and advocates come together to support proactive policies to improve access to basic reproductive health care, including through the Women’s Health Protection Act. These supporters of reproductive rights and freedom refused to be bullied into accepting policies that leave women and families behind and are sure to continue their efforts toward justice and equality as we enter the 114th Congress.
Despite the introduction of dozens of regressive measures that would restrict access to essential reproductive health care services, the 113th Congress also saw some crucial advances. In July 2013, reproductive justice, health, and rights organizations launched a bold new campaign, All* Above All, to build support for lifting bans on abortion coverage that disproportionally harm low-income women and communities of color. In November of that year, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Judy Chu (D-CA32) introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act, a critical piece of legislation that would fight back against harmful restrictions that states continue to impose on abortion access. Finally, in December 2014 Congress passed an historic budgetary fix in an omnibus federal funding bill that for the first time in more than 30 years, finally allows Peace Corps volunteers equal health care coverage for abortion services in cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment.
In this report you’ll find examples of the stale attempts to roll back the ability of individuals and families to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health care, from coverage restrictions in federal programs and private insurance marketplaces to inhumane limits on immigrants’ access to health care to outright abortion bans. We expect these unjust policies to be championed by anti-choice zealots in the 114th Congress, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, along with its many allies in the reproductive rights and reproductive justice movements, will continue to fight back against them.