POWER TO DECIDE RESPONDS TO THE FY2021 LABOR-HHS-EDUCATION FUNDING BILL
(Washington, D.C.) – Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill on a party-line vote of 30-22.
The bill includes level funding and key program protections for the Title X Family Planning Program at $286.5 million and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program at $101 million. Further, along with blocking the domestic gag rule, the bill provides a pathway to reverse the damage to women’s reproductive health as a result of the rule.
“Power to Decide is gratified that the bill provides level funding for the evidence-based TPP Program, and for the Title X Family Planning Program,” said Gillian Sealy, CEO, Power to Decide. “We are also pleased that the bill includes much-needed language that protects the integrity of these programs. Critically important to women’s access to family planning, the bill also blocks the domestic gag rule and provides a pathway to undo some of the damage the rule has done. This is an important step, as research from Power to Decide shows that more than 8.8 million women in need of publicly funded family planning live in counties that have lost Title X resources since the gag rule went into effect.”
However, the bill unfortunately includes the Hyde Amendment, which is annual appropriations language that bans federal funding for abortion care and primarily impacts low-income women who depend on the Medicaid program for their health insurance. For more than 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has banned abortion coverage for people enrolled in Medicaid health insurance. Black and brown women of low income depend disproportionately on Medicaid and are more likely to lack the coverage and funds for abortion care when they need it.
“It is deeply disappointing that the House pro-choice majority could not bring forth a federal spending bill without the Hyde Amendment,” Sealy added. “It’s sad since this amendment is part of the systemic racism Black and brown women face in the health care system and we call upon policymakers to put an end to these abortion coverage bans. A better course for policymakers would be to introduce annual spending bills without the Hyde Amendment so no one is denied abortion care access because of how much money they make or how they get their health insurance.
“Congress should also pass the EACH Woman Act, which ensures coverage for abortion care for every woman regardless of income or health insurance. It’s long past time to end coverage bans that harm women’s access to the full range of reproductive health care and their power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child.”
Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.