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Full suite of House appropriations bills would collectively end all appropriations abortion coverage bans

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a minibus spending bill that excludes abortion coverage bans including the Hyde Amendment, the Weldon Amendment, and the D.C. Medicaid abortion ban. It also makes critical investments in sexual and reproductive health, including the Title X Family Planning Program and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. Today’s package is part of the full suite of House appropriations bills that collectively would remove all abortion coverage bans effected through appropriations, including the ban for people incarcerated in federal prisons, the Helms Amendment restrictions, and ban for Peace Corps Volunteers. This historic progress comes after decades of advocacy from people of color, organizations like All* Above All, and other Reproductive Justice leaders urging lawmakers to end these discriminatory and racist abortion restrictions. 

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America: 

“This historic moment is an enormous victory for patients, health care providers, and advocates who have been fighting for decades to eliminate federal abortion coverage bans. Today’s spending package finally reflects the core belief that everyone deserves access to essential health care services — including safe, legal abortion — regardless of their income, health care provider, and ZIP code. We thank reproductive health care champions Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), and many others in the House for getting this across the finish line. Now, the Senate must carry this momentum and pass spending bills without any abortion restrictions to help ensure people across the country can take full control of their health and lives.” 

The Hyde Amendment blocks coverage of safe, legal abortion for people who use Medicaid and other federal programs. 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. It also emboldens health care entities to use personal or religious beliefs to deny access to abortion care. The D.C. Medicaid abortion ban prohibits the District of Columbia from using locally-raised tax dollars to cover abortions for people enrolled in D.C. Medicaid.   

Access to health care coverage that includes abortion coverage is a racial justice issue. Because of centuries of systemic racism and bias, people who use Medicaid are disproportionately Black and Latino. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 93% of the D.C. residents whose access to abortion is restricted by the D.C. Medicaid abortion coverage ban are Black or Hispanic. Abortion restrictions also disproportionately affect low-income households, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, young people, and rural communities. These communities already face insidious barriers to health care and economic advancement. 

These abortion restrictions are also deeply unpopular across the country, and 6 in 10 people agree that Medicaid should cover abortion services like it covers all other reproductive health services. 

Beyond ending these harmful bans, the minibus package approved today will also make critical investments in access to sexual and reproductive health care and increasing health equity. The LHHS bill provides $400 million for Title X — the nation’s only federal program dedicated to providing affordable birth control and other reproductive health care to people with low incomes. It also increases funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program while defunding ineffective and discriminatory abstinence-only programs for youth. 

Planned Parenthood Federation of America thanks House champions for their critical work to eliminate barriers to accessing safe, legal abortion, and is eager to work with the Senate to send appropriations bills without any abortion bans to President Biden’s desk.

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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.