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Budget deal on the backs of poor women and their families troubling

Breaking News

As leaders working to champion the agency and leadership of young people and as social justice organizations committed to erasing health inequities and championing the reproductive rights of women who are working hard to provide for their families, the undersigned organizations are deeply troubled by the FY2011 budget that passed in the House and the Senate yesterday.

We applaud the President and members of Congress who helped preserve funding for family planning and reproductive health services. But these services still sustained terrible cuts. Furthermore, the deal stripped the District of Columbia’s ability to use local funds to pay for abortions for women who are living day to day. The decision has already created a crisis for 28 women who were scheduled for abortions this week but suddenly found themselves without the means to pay for this medical service after DC Medicaid ended its coverage at midnight on April 13.

Young women, women of color and immigrant women rely on Title X clinics for primary and preventive care, including STI testing, cervical cancer and mammogram screenings, and prenatal and postnatal care. More than a $500 million cut to the Women, Infants and Children fund and slashes to funding for community health centers will significantly distort the quality of health services currently offered to young people, women of color, immigrant communities, people with disabilities and mixed-status families.

The FY2011 budget deal was not about fiscal responsibility as many conservative members of Congress claim. It was an abandonment of justice and fair play. Closing a multi-billion dollar deal by negotiating away the dignity of women is not just bad policy but an affront to the basic human right that guarantees communities around the country the right to health. The undersigned organizations oppose these harmful cuts that will continue to push women seeking critical reproductive health services into the shadows and away from quality health care. During these difficult times, Congress should focus on reinforcing federal support for programs that work. We will all continue to work to ensure that the health of young women, women of color, immigrants, and families become a priority in this Congress.

Signed:

Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (ACRJ)

Black Women's Health Imperative

Catholics for Choice

Center for American Progress

Center for Reproductive Rights

Choice USA

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH)

National Women's Health Network

National Women’s Law Center

National Network of Abortion Funds

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

Raising Women's Voices

Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP)