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Politicians Sneak Abortion Funding Ban Into The 21st Century Cures Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2015

Contact: Chrissy Faessen / Chrissy@conwaystrategic.com /c 703.828.7769

Politicians Sneak Abortion Funding Ban Into The 21st Century Cures Act

House to vote Friday on amendment by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA),
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) to stop ban

Washington D.C. (July 10, 2015) – Today, lawmakers in the House will vote to strip anti-abortion language from the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation that provides enhanced funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This language would expand the reach of the Hyde Amendment, which denies federal health coverage and funding for abortion. The ban was quietly added to the bipartisan bill after the full Committee vote.

“This is another stealth attack on my patients’ health by anti-choice lawmakers. Here they are adding harmful restrictions on abortion coverage and funding, just as they did with the human trafficking bill. Their strategy is to expand the reach of the Hyde Amendment and push necessary abortion care out of reach for more and more women,” said Nancy Stanwood, MD, MPH, board chair Physicians for Reproductive Health. “Abortion funding bans such as the Hyde Amendment harm women’s health and dignity. Rather than adding to this insult, Hyde itself must be repealed. My patients deserve compassion and support, not bans on their crucial health insurance needs.”

The addition of this ban to the 21st Century Cures Act is part of a concerted effort by antiabortion politicians to interfere with personal decision-making. Earlier this year similar restrictions were added to both the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act and the “doc fix” bill. In January, the House again passed H.R. 7, which would codify and expand the Hyde Amendment, apply it to all government spending, and put private insurance coverage of abortion out of reach for most women.

“Anti-abortion politicians can’t make abortion illegal, so instead they’re trying to make it more unaffordable and unavailable. Enough is enough! It’s time to end this heartless and cruel strategy of chipping away at our decision-making and ability to get care,” said Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. “That’s why it’s time to pass the EACH Woman Act, to stop politicians from interfering in personal decisions about abortion. Latinas and other women of color are watching closely, and we’ll continue to fight back against these relentless attacks.”

On Wednesday, July 8th , Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), along with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and 70 other Congressional co-sponsors, introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act. The bill would ensure health coverage for abortion for every woman however much she earns or however she is insured. The bill is backed by more than 35 national and state organizations united with the All* Above All campaign.

Specifically, the bill ensures that every woman who receives her health care or insurance through the federal government will be covered for all pregnancy related services, including abortion. In addition, it prohibits political interference with decisions by private health insurance companies to offer coverage for abortion care. Restricting Medicaid coverage of abortion forces one in four poor women seeking abortion to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

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About All* Above All

All* Above All unites organizations and individuals to build support for lifting bans that deny abortion coverage. Our vision is to restore public insurance coverage so that every woman, however much she makes, can get affordable, safe abortion care when she needs it.

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