Pressley, Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus Leaders Urge Biden to Eliminate Abortion Coverage Restrictions from Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

March 2, 2021
Press Release

Text of Letter (PDF)

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Chair of the Abortion Rights and Access Task Force of the Pro-Choice Caucus, joined Reps. Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Diana DeGette (CO-01) – along with the Democratic Women’s Caucus leaders, House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, and pro-choice Senators—in sending a letter to President Joe Biden urging the removal of abortion coverage restrictions from the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.  

In the letter, the lawmakers said that reversing the Trump administration’s policies undermining access to sexual and reproductive health care, both domestically and globally, must be a top priority for the Biden Administration, but “simply reverting to where things were in 2016 is not enough.” They called on the president to eliminate the Hyde Amendment, the Weldon Amendment, the Helms Amendment, and other similar abortion coverage restrictions from the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

“The pandemic yet again showed the long-standing structural racism and inequities in our health care system, with communities of color, particularly those in the Black, Latinx, and Pacific Islander communities, and Indigenous people facing high rates of infection and death from COVID-19,” the lawmakers wrote. “We are ready to work with the Biden Administration to undo harmful abortion access policies that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The letter was also signed by: Representatives Katherine Clark (MA-05), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Jackie Speier (CA-14),  Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Julia Brownley (CA-26),  Judy Chu (CA-27), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Theodore E. Deutch (FL-22), and Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH). 

As Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, Congresswoman Pressley has fought tirelessly to protect comprehensive reproductive health care for all, including abortion care.

Over the course of her first term serving in Congress, Congresswoman Pressley has filed amendments every year to repeal Hyde from annual Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bills and in July published a Medium post on the importance of doing so.

In May, she led more than 155 Members of Congress in calling on House Democratic leadership to ensure that any future COVID-19 relief packages rejected Republican efforts to use the public health crisis to diminish abortion access.

In May 2019, she led more than 100 colleagues in introducing H.Con.Res.40, a resolution reaffirming the House of Representative’s support for Roe v. Wade. In June 2019, Rep. Pressley introduced H.R. 3296, the Affordability is Access Act, to make oral contraception available without a prescription.

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