Pro-Choice Caucus asks Biden to remove abortion fund restrictions from 2022 budget
A coalition of pro-abortion-rights congressional Democrats er on Tuesday called on President Biden to remove restrictions on federal funding of abortion from the fiscal 2022 budget.
Leaders of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and the Democratic Women’s Caucus joined seven Democratic senators to ask Biden to eliminate several restrictions from the budget. The restrictions include the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding of abortions; the Helms Amendment, which limits foreign assistance funds for abortion; and the Weldon Amendment, which bars government entities from using federal money to penalize health care entities that do not cover abortion procedures.
In addition to Pro-Choice Caucus chairwomen Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), the letter is signed by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Ct.) and Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hi.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).
“The pandemic yet again showed the long-standing structural racism and inequities in our health care system, with communities of color, particularly those in the Black, Latinx, and Pacific Islander communities, and Indigenous people facing high rates of infection and death from COVID-19,” the lawmakers wrote. “We are ready to work with the Biden Administration to undo harmful abortion access policies that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Biden has already rescinded the so-called Mexico City policy, under which the foreign recipients of family planning aid from the U.S. government must agree not to provide abortion services or promote them to patients. Then-President Reagan first announced the policy in 1984, and Democratic and Republican presidents have repeatedly exited and re-instated the policy, respectively, in the years since.
Reversing the funding restrictions, the letter stated, “will send a strong message to Congress, the country, and the world that everyone should be able to decide when and how to start a family— regardless of how much money they make, the type of insurance they have, or where they live.”