Statement from Nancy Northup, president & CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“Today’s release of President Biden’s budget proposal marks the first time in decades that a president has submitted a budget without the Hyde Amendment, which for more than 40 years has denied insurance coverage of abortion for people working to make ends meet. We applaud President Biden for this important step towards ensuring access to abortion, which is a human right. This historic step would not have been possible without the leadership of women of color, who have been organizing in their communities and educating elected leaders for years on the impact of this policy and why it must be eliminated.
The President’s Budget also includes a request for $3 billion dollars over five years to invest in maternal health. The proposal aims to reduce the U.S. maternal mortality rate and end racial disparities in maternal health outcomes. Indeed, the U.S. is facing a worsening maternal health crisis marked by high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity, especially for Black and Indigenous people who experience far higher rates of pregnancy-related death and complications than their white counterparts. This crisis has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend the White House for this significant investment and hope that the federal government will continue to address racism in maternal health care.
We are disappointed that the President’s Budget contains the Helms and Weldon amendments. The Helms Amendment bans U.S. foreign assistance from covering abortion care or referrals “as a method of family planning.” This discriminatory policy has been broadly misinterpreted to include cases of rape, incest, and threat to a person’s life. ”
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