Current appropriations bill would continue to deny thousands of D.C. women comprehensive coverage for reproductive health care
(PRESS RELEASE) The Center for Reproductive Rights called on members of the House Appropriations Committee today to reject any riders to the FY14 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill prohibiting the District of Columbia from spending its own funds to provide abortion coverage through the District’s Medicaid program.
The House version of the appropriations bill seeks to renew the current politically-motivated policy, denying the over 70,000 non-elderly Medicaid-enrolled women in D.C. the comprehensive reproductive health care coverage they need—,despite the fact that such coverage is supported by the duly-elected City Council and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s congressional representative.
Said Julianna Gonen, director of government relations at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“Every woman should have access to the full range of reproductive health care she needs, including abortion services, no matter where she lives or how much money she makes.
“For years, politicians in Congress have worked to ensure that women struggling to make ends meet in D.C. do not have the same access to health care as women living in other parts of the country—,even just across the district line in Maryland.
“We commend D.C.’s leadership for standing up for their constituents’ right to have the same access to constitutionally protected medical services as other women. We strongly urge the House Appropriations Committee to respect the rights, health, and autonomy of women in the District and reject this profoundly anti-democratic and discriminatory policy.”
Since the implementation of the Hyde Amendment in 1977, Congress has withheld federal Medicaid coverage for abortion except in the most extreme circumstances. While all 50 states may use their own state funds to cover abortion services, D.C. is currently prevented from doing so by Congress, which approves the district’s budget.