Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Chair of Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Co-Chair of the Pro Choice Caucus, and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Chair of Pro-Choice Caucus’s Providers and Clinics Task Force, and more than 150 Members of Congress in calling on House Democratic Leadership to ensure that any future COVID-19 relief packages reject Republican efforts to diminish access to comprehensive reproductive health care.
“As proud members of the first pro-choice majority in the House of Representatives, we unequivocally oppose efforts to roll back access to reproductive health services, including abortion, and underscore the role that these essential services continue to play in the time of a global pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote. “While we are grateful for your leadership and work standing against attempts to further restrict abortion access in COVID-19 relief packages, it is critical that we continue to fight to ensure that any future relief packages reject Republican efforts to diminish access to comprehensive reproductive health care. We must ensure that all communities are able to seek the essential and time-sensitive services they need during these difficult times.”
In previous COVID-19 relief packages, Senate Republicans have included discriminatory Hyde Amendment-like restrictions on abortion access, which disproportionately harm low-income people and people of color. Across the nation, Republican anti-choice lawmakers have attempted to use the COVID-19 crisis as a pretext to restrict access to abortion and reproductive health care.
“As Congress continues to respond to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we must reject any further provisions that harm access to abortion care, restrict abortion coverage or contribute to clinics shutting their doors,” the lawmakers continued. “These restrictions on abortion access will only further exacerbate the impact this pandemic is already placing on our most vulnerable communities. We must reject any and all efforts to undermine comprehensive reproductive health care access.”