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Congress prioritizes attacks on vulnerable women and families

Breaking News

Today's votes in the U.S. House of Representatives on harmful amendments to the federal spending bill (H.R. 1) was a new low in attacks against women and their families. While the bill and its amendments attempt to take aim at the country’s alarming deficit, they do so by slashing a number of important programs and measures. The cuts are misguided and dangerous and strike in the areas of public safety, education, and infrastructure at a time when jobs in these very areas could help millions of people in the U.S. While supporters of the measures suggest the nation compromise the education of its youth and the building of desperately-needed infrastructure, it contains a fully-funded Defense appropriations bill, making clear that militarization and not health, communities, and justice are the priorities for this Congress.

Amendments passed today would:

  •       End taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood's preventative and primary care services, birth control and reproductive care that service about 3 million clients;
  •       Cut salaries necessary to carry out the healthcare reform law;
  •       Prevent funds from being used to implement part of the healthcare law that requires the IRS to verify that people have healthcare coverage and impose penalties against those who do not comply;
  •       Completely defund the healthcare law;
  •       Cut funding for agencies that are necessary for the implementation of the healthcare law; and
  •       Prevent funding for the Department of Justice to litigate against the Arizona racial profiling law, S.B. 1070.

H.R. 1 also contains cuts that, if passed, would:

  •       Cut the Women, Infants and Children program, an essential nutrition program for pregnant women and children;
  •       Cut Maternal and Child Health block grants;
  •       Create significant reductions in funding to Community Health Centers;
  •       Cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, risking the national public health.

With their efforts to cut out essential programs for the most vulnerable people in the nation, this Congress has made clear that they do not stand with the people’s interests in mind. The devastating cuts suggested by this bill and its agreed amendments are indicative of this Congresses' disregard for Latinas and all women. The House is set to continue considering harmful amendments late into the night with likely, similar outcomes. However, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health urges all advocates of reproductive justice and welfare of women and families to demand that the Senate stop these cuts when they take up the measure in the next few weeks.