Secular Woman Signs Letter to Congress Regarding Abortion Access

May 8, 2013

The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
Chairwoman
Senate Committee on Appropriations
S-128 The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Richard Shelby
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Appropriations
S-146A The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairwoman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby:As organizations committed to advancing women’s reproductive health, rights, and justice, we strongly urge you to reject policy riders in the Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations process that restrict women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

All women should have access to and coverage of abortion, regardless of their ability to pay or source of insurance. Since the passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976, however, the appropriations process has been used as a vehicle to systematically restrict women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care. In recent years, there have been multiple attempts to use the appropriations process to incrementally chip away at women’s health. These measures create unjust obstacles to care for millions of women, including women of color, low-income women, immigrants, and rural women, severely restricting their ability to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families.

When anti-women’s health policies are attached to must-pass appropriations legislation, members of Congress are forced to choose between shutting down the government and putting women’s health in jeopardy. As a coalition of organizations that care about the health and economic security of women and their families, we strongly urge you to oppose efforts to attack women’s health through the appropriations process, including policy riders that restrict funding for abortion coverage and care for: (i) Medicaid-eligible women and Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries; (ii) federal employees and their dependents; (iii) Peace Corps volunteers; (iv) Native American women; (v) women in federal prisons and detention centers, including those detained for immigration purposes; and (vi) local District of Columbia funds for low-income women.

We commend the members of Congress who have stood up against these attacks on women and urge all members of Congress to make the health and economic security of our nation a priority by opposing all attempts to limit access to the comprehensive health care women and their families need to stay healthy and contribute to our nation’s economy. We hope that Congress will ultimately lift all abortion coverage restrictions, which harm women’s health and erect unnecessary and unfair barriers to comprehensive reproductive health care, in forthcoming appropriations bills.

Sincerely,

Abortion Care Network
ACCESS Women’s Health Justice
Advocates for Women
Advocates for Youth
American Association of University Women
American Civil Liberties Union
American Medical Student Association
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Black Women’s Health Imperative
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Catholics for Choice
Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Center for Health and Gender Equity
Center for Inquiry
Center for Reproductive Rights
Center for Women Policy Studies
Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Choice USA
Citizens for Choice
Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program at Hampshire College
DC Abortion Fund
DC Chapter of the National Organization for Women
Feminist Majority
Forward Together
Global Justice Institute
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
Ibis Reproductive Health
Ipas
Jewish Women International
Law Students for Reproductive Justice
Legal Momentum
Make A Difference Fund
Maternal and Child Health Access
Medical Students for Choice
Metropolitan Community Churches
Ms. Foundation for Women
Muslims for Progressive Values
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Abortion Federation
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Council of Jewish Women
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
National Health Law Program
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Health Network
National Network of Abortion Funds
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Pro-Choice Resources
Provide
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Religious Institute
Reproductive Health Access Project
Reproductive Health Technologies Project
Secular Woman
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
Violence Intervention Program
Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights
Women Have Options
Women of Reform Judaism`
Women Watch Afrika, Inc.
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual
Women’s Medical Fund
Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project
Worker Justice Center of New York
WV FREE

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