Appropriations Bill Could Eliminate DC Funding Bans
The federal appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2010 includes several items that would end funding bans affecting several different issues in Washington, DC. If passed in its current form, the bill would eliminate a prohibition on using DC-raised monies for abortion, would end a ban that prohibits the use of federal funds for registration of domestic partners in the District, and would end a federal funding ban on needle exchange programs in DC. Another provision would allow DC to conduct a referendum on the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
In a statement (see PDF) for the subcommittee markup of the bill in June, Congressman Jose E. Serrano, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, described the rationale for these provisions as taking "further steps towards reducing undue congressional interference in local affairs and eliminating restrictions on the District that do not apply to other parts of the nation."
Most of these restrictive bans were implemented in the late 1990s under a Republican-controlled Congress. Spokeswoman for Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee Jennifer Hing told the Hill that they "hope and expect that there will be some changes to those provisions in full committee." It is probable that these provisions of the bill will also be faced with resistance from Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Media Resources: Congressman Jose E. Serrano Press Release 6/25/09; The Hill 6/30/09
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .