representing Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyDemocrats repeal ban on funding overseas abortions Nearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to ‘quickly’ allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards Omar reflects on his experiences personal with hatred to plead in favor of a new envoy PLUS (D-Ill.) On Wednesday introduced legislation that would repeal a decades-old policy that prevents U.S. foreign aid programs from funding abortion services.
The bill aims to The Helms Amendment, a law of 1973 passed as a result of the Roe v. Wade of the Supreme Court, which places anti-abortion restrictions on overseas aid.
Schakowsky’s bill, the Abortion Is Health Care Act of 2020, would classify abortion services as a safe component of reproductive health care. The longtime progressive said her legislation is the first bill to attempt to remove the amendment since its inception.
Calling safe abortion a “human right,” Schakowsky and many of the bill’s co-sponsors, including Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus co-chair Rep. Barbara leeBarbara Jean LeeHouse passes sprawling spending bill ahead of fall shutdown fight (D-Calif.) And the co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierJimmy and Rosalynn Carter celebrate their 75th birthday, the oldest presidential couple brace for a sea change in justice reform. (D-Calif.) Said the policy had been disproportionately detrimental to women of color.
“The Helms Amendment is a policy deeply rooted in racism,” Schakowsky said in a statement Wednesday. “It imposes our arbitrary and medically unnecessary abortion restrictions on international communities, allowing the United States to control the health care and bodily autonomy of billions of blacks and browns around the world.”
The bill has been approved by more than 115 organizations, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the International Coalition for Women’s Health, and the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research group.
Guttmacher President Herminia Palacio welcomed the legislation.
“The US government can and must show global leadership in protecting reproductive health and rights,” Palacio said in a statement. “This is especially true with the COVID-19 crisis threatening the health of women and families around the world – potentially including a significant increase in unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. “
Democratic supporters say they recognize the legislation, which was not scheduled for a House vote, does not have the votes for move to the Republican-controlled Senate if it were to go that far.
“These people would rather see women die from sloppy and dangerous procedures rather than providing basic health care,” Speier said, referring to Republicans.