(PRESS RELEASE) Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights applauded the House of Representatives for voting to discontinue the ban on funding for abortion services that specifically targets women in Washington, D.C. Currently, the District of Columbia is prohibited from using local tax money to pay for abortion services for low-income women except in extremely limited circumstances – when a woman’s life is endangered, or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. The Center for Reproductive Rights has strongly urged Congress to repeal the restriction.“For nearly two decades, Congress has denied the District the power to protect the health of its own citizens, nearly a third of whom have no access to healthcare except through government programs. We’re closer now today than we’ve been in years to ensuring poor women in the Capital have access to the full range of reproductive health services,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Thanks to members of the House and specifically to D.C. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton and New York Representative Jose Serrano for making this victory possible. Congress doesn’t dictate how the fifty states use their own public dollars and shouldn’t deny the District that power either.” The funding ban has been included in the Financial Services Appropriations bill almost every year since 1988. This year, however, President Obama did not include it in his proposed 2010 budget. Representative Norton called for her colleagues to lift the ban. Until 1988, the District used its own funds to pay for abortions for low-income women. However, unlike the states, the capital city is subject to the jurisdiction of Congress, which has, from 1988 until 1993 and from 1995 to present, prohibited the District from deciding for itself whether to fund abortions other than in the cases of risk to life or in cases of rape or incest.