House Republicans Aim to Make Abortion Illegal Nationally

2023-11-13 16:16
Fact Sheet
Republicans Use Health Funding Bill to Pass Extreme Abortion-related Provisions

New Abortion-related Poison Pill Riders in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5894)

  • Section 239 attempts to “defund” Planned Parenthood, blocking people from accessing critical preventive services like sexually transmitted infections testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraception, and sex education at Planned Parenthood health centers. Planned Parenthood plays an irreplaceable role in providing quality health care to more than two million people each year, and this dangerous provision in the underlying bill could leave many with nowhere else to turn for basic health care. 
  • Section 240 targets programs that provide referrals or information about abortion. This includes HHS evidence-based, informational materials including those on ReproductiveRights.gov about abortion that help people locate care — resources that are particularly needed for those seeking care post-Dobbs.
  • Section 245 hinders the ability of Title X providers to offer non-directive pregnancy options counseling. Patients trust their Title X provider to offer unbiased information regarding their reproductive and sexual health. When a patient faces an unexpected pregnancy, this care is critical to patients making time-sensitive decisions about what is best for themselves and their families. This rider seeks to curtail the availability of information related to abortion, including referrals, in some areas.
  • Section 246 attempts to expand the harmful Weldon Amendment—that allows health care providers to discriminate against patients by denying them abortion care—by creating an expansive private right of action that allows virtually anyone to bring a case in federal court for “an actual or threatened violation,” and would only further undermine efforts to protect abortion care. As a reminder, the Weldon Amendment works alongside the Hyde Amendment to interfere with abortion coverage and care, as it prioritizes personal beliefs over patient health.
  • Section 536 attempts to block the implementation of executive orders from President Biden aimed at expanding access to abortion and other reproductive health care services for people impacted by state abortion bans following the Dobbs decision. Blocking the implementation of these administration actions would undermine these important efforts to protect and secure access to reproductive health care. 
  • Section 541 would jeopardize access to essential postgraduate medical training in abortion care. Training in abortion is an essential component of medical education and clinical training and is necessary to ensure the health and well-being of pregnant women across the country. This dangerous new rider in the underlying bill would require residents to opt-in to receive this essential training, disrupting well-established requirements and reducing access to training in the full spectrum of reproductive health care.
  • Section 238 would restrict National Institutes of Health medical research using fetal tissue. Restricting the use of fetal tissue in research could block life-saving medical research and groundbreaking scientific advancements. People need to be able to trust that decisions about scientific research are evidence-based and are being made to advance the health and well-being of people, not for political agendas.
  • Furthermore, the bill eliminates critical funding for the Title X program. More than two million people rely on Title X, the nation’s family planning program, for lifesaving preventive care, including contraceptive services, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infections testing and treatment, and more. For many people, Title X is their sole or primary source of health care, and eliminating funding would harm access to care for some of the most marginalized people in our communities.
  • And the bill eliminates funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), while funding abstinence-only programs. It is critical that funding for programs like the TPP Program is protected. Young people need access to honest and accurate sex education programs that give them the knowledge and skills they need to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections and to develop healthy relationships.
118th Congress