WASHINGTON — Today, the Biden-Harris administration released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2022. The budget contains many critical investments, but one of the most important aspects is what’s missing: It does not include the racist and discriminatory Hyde Amendment. President Biden is the first president in decades to propose rescinding this harmful policy, which disproportionately denies abortion coverage to people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and immigrants — communities who already face insidious barriers to health care and economic advancement.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“President Biden’s budget, which proposes ending the Hyde Amendment, is a historic step in the fight for reproductive freedom. We thank President Biden for standing up for the health and rights of all people, and we applaud our partners in the reproductive justice community for their tenacious leadership that has brought us to this day. For far too long, the Hyde Amendment has put the government in control of a personal health care decision for many people with low incomes. The policy is racist, sexist, deeply unjust, and immensely unpopular. Your ZIP code, financial situation or the type of health insurance you have should never determine what kind of essential health care services you can access, including abortion. It’s past time our federal budget reflects this essential principle.
“The Biden-Harris budget also proposes some important funding increases for critical sexual and reproductive health care services and programs here and abroad. We will keep working with the administration and Congress to end the Hyde Amendment and all other abortion restrictions — including the Helms Amendment and Weldon Amendment — and to protect and expand sexual and reproductive health care and rights for all people.”
The Hyde Amendment blocks people who use Medicaid and other federal health programs from being able to access abortion. It is deeply unpopular: 6 in 10 people agree that Medicaid should cover abortion services like it covers all other reproductive health services.
Congress must now do the right thing by passing appropriations bills without the Hyde Amendment in all its forms, but they cannot stop there. The Weldon Amendment emboldens health care providers to deny access to abortion care and the Helms Amendment undermines access to comprehensive reproductive health care globally — both must also be removed from the final FY 2022 budget. Additional steps to make access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, more equitable include: passing the EACH Act to ensure future congresses can never revive this racist policy; passing the Global HER Act to permanently end the global gag rule; repealing the Helms Amendment once and for all through the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act.
Biden’s budget also:
- Increases investment in the Title X program. This is an important start, but given that the program has been underfunded for years — and we’re in the midst of a pandemic that has made affordable reproductive health care access that much more difficult to obtain — Congress must do more to meet the need.
- Increases funding for international family planning and reproductive health programs, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This is an important first step, but additional investments are necessary: The need is urgent, yet family planning is the only global health program to receive decreased funding over the last decade. The United States has a commitment in addressing unmet need for contraception in low- and middle-income countries and improving global reproductive health.
- Includes level funding to provide young people with sex education and the sexual health services they need to make informed decisions about their bodies and lives, although more is ultimately needed to serve more young people and restore evidence-based implementation of the program.
The budget also includes other important investments in sexual and reproductive health care, positive investments in health equity, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, additional funding to address the maternal mortality crisis and its devastating impact in communities of color, and large investments in the CDC to address the COVID-19 and future pandemics.
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.