The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

NARAL Pro-Choice America Praises House Committee for Voting to Lift D.C. Abortion Ban

Committee’s action reflects President Obama’s budget request, marks major step toward reversing 15-year-old anti-choice policy


Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, commended pro-choice leaders on the House Appropriations Committee for defeating an anti-choice attempt last night to reinsert a ban on Washington, D.C.'s ability to use locally raised funds to pay for abortion services.

The amendment, offered by anti-choice Reps. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) and Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), would have continued a 15-year-old discriminatory policy that made D.C. the only local government whose own funds are subject to congressional control.

Late last month, an appropriations subcommittee followed President Obama's lead and lifted this ban, as the president recommended in his budget request to Congress. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city's elected representative in Congress, fully supports repealing the ban.

"We cleared an important hurdle, thanks to the leadership of subcommittee chairman Rep. Jose Serrano and our pro-choice allies on the House Appropriations Committee," Keenan said. "As this bill moves to the full House, our activists are ready to work to ensure that Congress upholds the committee's action and thus removes this discriminatory policy that blocks women's access to safe, legal abortion in our nation's capital."

Keenan also said she expected Reps. Tiahrt and Davis, along with their anti-choice allies in Congress and interest groups, to continue to distort the facts in their attempt to continue interfering in D.C.'s local affairs.

"Contrary to anti-choice fabrications, ending this ban simply gives the elected city leaders the ability to decide whether the District will use its own locally raised funds to ensure women have access to the full range of reproductive-health options, including safe, legal abortion," Keenan said. "Congress doesn't tell any other state or local jurisdiction how to use its locally raised funds, so it's past time to end this unfair and discriminatory policy."

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.