Some members of the anti-abortion rights majority in the House have seen the writing on the wall and are (rhetorically) trying to distance themselves from their decades-long effort to control our bodies and lives by banning abortion and restricting access to sexual and reproductive health care. Throughout the FY24 budget process, these members of Congress have tried to force through cuts to critical programs and bills with poison pill policies. As the deadline to pass annual funding bills before a government shut down looms, some politicians are coming to terms with the resounding rebuke of their agenda by voters in this year’s November election. Yet, House Speaker Mike Johnson is still pushing the majority’s dangerous, partisan funding bills through the House.
We must be prepared for the lies these politicians will tell to attempt to cover their records. They’ve said what they’ve said, and they’ve done what they’ve done — and we have the receipts.
“We support access to birth control.”
That’s a lie.
The truth is, anti-abortion House members completely eliminated funding for Title X in the Labor HHS appropriations bill. Title X is the only federal program dedicated to providing sexual and reproductive health care services to people with low incomes — this includes birth control. In their State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, they cut funding for international family planning programs by nearly 25%. And, they banned funding for the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA), which provides access to care, including birth control, in some of the most challenging settings around the world.
“We don’t want to restrict medication abortion.” That’s also a lie.
The truth is, in April, nearly 150 members of Congress called on the Supreme Court to restrict medication abortion, following the 67 in the House who asked the courts to overturn FDA approval of mifepristone entirely. House Republicans included a provision to restrict medication abortion in the Fiscal Year 2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill, which they passed out of committee along party lines. This bill has already failed once and some are scared to vote for this obviously unpopular agenda — and House Speaker Mike Johnson is still planning a vote on this spending bill, again.
“We support women’s equality.”
Survey says: that’s a lie.
The truth is, House Republicans tried — and failed — to pass an amendment to defund the White House Gender Policy Council in their annual Financial Services funding bill. That’s the office charged with advancing gender equality across federal programs: managing comprehensive efforts to address things like systemic discrimination, economic security and wage gaps, gender-based violence, and yes, access to comprehensive health care, including sexual and reproductive health. The vast majority of House Republicans voted to block its funding. As Leader Jeffries explained, this is yet another attempt to restrict reproductive freedom and bring us closer to a nationwide abortion ban.
“We support health care for our communities.” LIE. LIE. LIE.
The truth is, Speaker Johnson is aiming to pass a measure to "defund" Planned Parenthood health centers in the majority’s Labor HHS government spending bill, taking away this essential health care from the very people they represent. It’s just one of the many ways that this outrageous bill would take health care away from their constituents.
Planned Parenthood health centers served 2.1 million patients in 2021 alone, providing 4.4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, nearly 200,000 breast exams, more than 228,000 Pap tests, and birth control to nearly 1.6 million people. Seventy-six (76%) of Planned Parenthood health centers are located in health professional shortage areas, rural, and medically underserved communities.
“We’re the ‘pro-baby’ party.”
Hmm, let us check… also a lie.
The truth is, anti-abortion rights politicians have a long history of neglecting programs that help children and families, and they are advancing funding bills that slash support for such programs. For example, the Republican Agriculture funding bill would make drastic cuts to WIC, despite the increasing need among pregnant people, new parents, and young children that the program is designed to serve.
Instead of attacking these programs, they could be using the appropriations process to provide urgently needed emergency support for child care and child poverty. In January 2022, they refused to extend the Child Tax Credit (CTC), even though the temporary CTC (as part of the COVID-19 relief package) reduced U.S. child poverty by 46%, lifted nearly 4 million children out of poverty, and reduced the number of households that reported not having enough food, deepening this child care crisis. And if that wasn’t enough, we know anti-abortion policies hurt the economic wellbeing of families.
“We support veterans, military service members, and their families”
You guessed it, another lie.
The truth is, the Republican House majority passed a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) funding bill overturning a rule allowing the VA to provide veterans and their families access to abortion in cases of rape, incest, or pregnancies that threaten the life or health of the pregnant person. They are also using the annual defense policy bill to attack access to abortion and gender-affirming care for service members and their families. And in the Senate, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) continues holding up military promotions — preventing important military nominations from moving forward unless the Department of Defense overturns critical policies to protect service members’ and their families’ access to reproductive health care, including abortion.