Center for Reproductive Rights calls on Senate to reject law that fails to protect basic health needs of women in U.S. government custody
(PRESS RELEASE) The U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure yesterday 234 to 182 that would deny basic reproductive health care to women detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and prevent women in immigration detention from accessing abortions necessary to safeguard their health, by allowing funding for abortions only in the cases of life-endangerment, rape, and incest.
The measure, which is part of an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), also includes a provision that would allow ICE employees to refuse to “facilitate in any way” any abortion – even for those women who qualify for the narrow exceptions. Rep. Aderholt’s extreme amendment was even more outrageous when first introduced, failing to include even an exception for victims of incest.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“The House has turned its back on immigrant women in United States custody by failing to provide them with the basic reproductive health care services, even if their pregnancy poses serious risks to their health.
“The United States has a moral and legal responsibility to protect the fundamental human rights of all women in its custody. The Senate must make up for the House’s failure and immediately reject this callous measure.”
The Senate version of the appropriations bill has passed out of committee and is expected to be scheduled for a floor vote.