President Obama Signs Budget, Which Lifts DC Abortion Ban

Today, Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), commended President Obama and Congress for lifting a longstanding ban that prohibits DC from using its locally raised revenue to help low-income women obtain the abortion care they need.

“We are pleased that Congress and the President have removed this discriminatory policy, which has for far too long interfered with DC women’s ability to access safe, legal abortion care,” said Saporta. “This prohibition also interfered with the rights of DC residents and has effectively prevented the DC government from assessing and meeting the needs of its community.”

Since 1977, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited the use of federal Medicaid funds to pay for medically necessary abortion care for most low-income women, except in very limited circumstances. Although states may use non-federal funds to pay for abortion care, since 1988 Congress has restricted DC from using its own locally raised funds to provide abortion care to low-income women. DC now has the ability to choose how to direct its local Medicaid funds.

President Obama signed the FY 2010 Budget, which lifted the ban on the District’s use of locally raised funds for abortion care. This is a major step forward for women in our nation’s capitol.

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