Congress' Attacks on Reproductive Health Care in COVID-19 Response Legislation are Unacceptable
For Immediate Release: March 27, 2020
Politicians in Congress and states are taking advantage of a crisis to push their anti-abortion agenda
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which passed the Senate earlier this week and is intended to provide health resources and economic relief in the wake of COVID-19.
While there are needed health and economic resources in this bill, it shamefully includes multiple attacks on reproductive health care at the same time as multiples states try to use this public health crisis to ban abortion access. Additionally, this bill does not protect immigrants, as it does not provide testing, treatment, and financial relief to individuals and families of all immigration statuses during this global pandemic. While this bill provides a down payment for election reform, Congress must provide states with additional funds to ensure all voters are able to fully participate in the upcoming election. It is essential that future bills address these gaps and others and the rapidly increasing needs around the world, including in many low- and middle-income countries.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Reproductive health care, including abortion, is essential health care. People have to be able to access the health care they need, especially during a public health crisis, without politics getting in the way. Politicians in states like Texas and Mississippi are trying to exploit this global pandemic to push their anti-abortion agenda, and it is unacceptable that Congress is also attacking reproductive health and rights. The latest coronavirus relief package expands the Hyde Amendment to a new pot of funds and attempts to target Planned Parenthood health centers — a cruel disservice to the millions of people across the country who are already struggling to access care. Our rights are not a bargaining chip and should never be used to hold critical aid hostage. We will keep fighting to ensure that sexual and reproductive health care are a priority to the elected officials whose job it is to protect our health and freedoms, here in the U.S. and around the world."
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.