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WASHINGTON — As the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade continues to have devastating consequences nationwide, health care champions on the House Appropriations Committee advanced their Fiscal Year 2023 spending bills. The bills beat back anti-abortion rights amendments and riders and provide critical funding and policy changes in support of sexual and reproductive health care. 

The Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) FY2023 spending bill advanced without the harmful D.C. Medicaid abortion ban – sometimes called the Dornan Amendment – which prohibits Washington, D.C., from using its own locally raised tax dollars to pay for abortions for residents enrolled in the D.C. Medicaid program. This is a major step toward protecting abortion access in Washington, D.C., for people with low incomes. The FSGG spending bill also protects abortion coverage for federal employees who receive their health insurance through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). This is the second consecutive year that the committee is advancing a spending bill without these harmful provisions.

The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) FY2023 spending bill passed with language to permanently end the global gag rule, a significant increase in funding for international family planning, and the removal of Helms Amendment restrictions. The Helms Amendment restricts the ability of individuals to make their own personal medical decisions and denies access to comprehensive reproductive health care.  

The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) FY2023 spending bill again eliminates the Hyde and Weldon amendments. The Hyde Amendment blocks federal Medicaid coverage of abortion, which disproportionately harms people of color due to systemic racism and discrimination. The Weldon Amendment threatens state and local governments that seek to protect or expand abortion care or coverage with the loss of federal health dollars and emboldens health care entities to use personal or religious beliefs to deny access to abortion care. Additionally, the bill allocates $500 million to the Title X Family Planning Program, a significant and meaningful increase from last year’s enacted levels. The bill also allocates $130 million to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program (TPP), and eliminates funding for ineffective abstinence-only until marriage sex education programs.

As it did last year, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) FY2023 spending bill eliminates the abortion coverage ban for incarcerated people in the federal prison system. During the markup, an amendment was added to the bill which prohibits federal funds from being used to prosecute anyone crossing state lines to assist with or obtain an abortion.

For the first time, the Department of Defense FY2023 spending bill included a provision that would support U.S. Military servicemembers and Department of Defense employees taking leave if they or a significant other needs abortion care.   

Jacqueline Ayers, senior vice president of policy, campaigns and advocacy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“We are facing a national abortion crisis and we need all hands on deck, from all levels of government, to fight back. Reproductive rights champions in the House understand this and have advanced bills that support abortion access and sexual and reproductive health. Planned Parenthood is grateful for their leadership.  

“Let’s be clear about the moment we are in: the Supreme Court has just taken a sledgehammer to our rights — but instead of supporting abortion access and investments in sexual and reproductive health, we saw anti-abortion rights members of Congress in committee continue efforts to restrict abortion. They are unwilling to support programs that help families and communities and ultimately want a nationwide abortion ban.

“We cannot let that happen. The House Appropriations Committee has advanced critical legislation to expand access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, and the House must pass these bills. Then, the Senate must act to improve reproductive health access at this moment of crisis.”

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.