Budget threatens essential health programs for women, families, and vulnerable populations
The Center for Reproductive Rights denounced President Donald Trump’s proposed FY 2019 budget released today as a dangerous, ideological proposal that would threaten essential programs for women and families and target vulnerable populations.
Said Maya Rupert, Senior Director of Policy at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“President Trump’s proposed budget harms women, families, immigrants, low-income people and all others who deserve a government that protects and respects their rights, health and well-being.
“Instead of using this opportunity to propose meaningful investments that would improve the health and well-being of women and families, the Trump administration has created a budget that erects barriers to critical healthcare coverage and services for women.
“This budget does not represent a meaningful starting point for negotiation. Congress must flat-out reject this effort to make it more difficult for women to access abortion and essential services.”
The budget aims to dismantle the structures in place that help ensure all Americans have access to health insurance and services. Despite repeated failed attempts by Congress throughout 2017 to repeal the Affordable Care Act, to decimate Medicaid, and to block access to basic and preventative healthcare at Planned Parenthood, the budget nonetheless recycles all those unpopular policies and attempts to destroy these critical components of our health care system from within.
This budget disproportionately impacts low-income women and families by adding unnecessary requirements to critical health and social service programs which will serve to limit coverage and access. It also additionally preserves the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, which restricts Medicaid and Medicare recipients from accessing safe and legal abortion care except in extremely limited circumstances through their health care providers.
In October, the Department of Health and Human Services published an interim final rule permitting virtually any employer or university to deny contraceptive coverage for employees or students, and in January 2018 HHS released a proposed rule drastically expanding the scope of its enforcement of religious refusal laws that would allow providers to discriminate against patients and to deny health care, including abortion, under the pretext of religious freedom. Globally, the administration’s expanded Global Gag Rule restricts what U.S.-supported non-governmental groups abroad can do with their own money, prohibiting groups from providing safe and legal abortion services, or even offering information or referrals for safe abortion except in very limited circumstances.
Last month, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Women’s Law Center filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information about why the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created a new division dedicated to enforcement of religious refusal laws.