NARAL Tells It Truly-Planned Parenthood & Abortion Funding
Each year Congress passes a set of 12 appropriations bills, which collectively fund government programs from October 1 of one year to September 30 of the next. Anti-choice legislators have continually used these “must-pass” bills as vehicles to deny coverage for abortion services to millions of women whose health care is subject to federal control. Amendments to appropriations bills can restrict abortion coverage for: federal employees and their dependents; residents of the District of Columbia; low-income women and some disabled women who rely on Medicaid and Medicare for their health-care coverage; military personnel and their dependents; Peace Corps volunteers; Native-American women; and women in federal prisons.
Similarly, attempts have even been made to restrict funds for women receiving medical care at family-planning clinics funded by the Title X program, the only federal program exclusively dedicated to family planning and reproductive-health services.
Funding Bans Are Discriminatory and Endanger Women’s Health Unable to make abortion illegal, anti-choice legislators have tried to make the procedure nearly impossible for women to obtain by placing abortion services financially out of reach. Antichoice lawmakers have used the appropriations process to restrict how public funds may be used, prohibiting federal funding of abortion care in most situations. The intent of these funding bans, which disproportionately impact women of limited means, is to render abortion services inaccessible to as many women as possible. Former anti-choice Rep. Henry Hyde (RIL) explicitly declared this intention during debate on his amendment to deny abortion coverage to millions of low-income women who obtain their health-care insurance through Medicaid: “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the…Medicaid bill.”
Since the late 1970s, anti-choice politicians have followed in
Hyde’s footsteps, enacting funding bans that impose significant, and in some cases
insurmountable, obstacles to a woman’s ability to exercise her constitutionally protected right to