Letter to Congress: DC's local government should decide local laws
July 3, 2013
The National Network of Abortion Funds joins a diverse coalition of 52 organizations representing advocates for low-income women and women of color, youth communities, people of faith, health care providers, and voting rights advocates to defend District of Columbia's budget autonomy and lift the ban on Medicaid abortion coverage in DC.
This week we sent the following letter to Congress demanding an end to the ban, which forbids the District from using locally-raised tax revenues in the manner of its choosing:
Dear Member of Congress:
We urge you to oppose any effort to force the views of Congress on the District of Columbia through the fiscal year 2014 budget.
We are concerned that the FY’14 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill will unjustly interfere in the District of Columbia’s local affairs by imposing social-policy riders that usurp the prerogative of the District of Columbia’s elected mayor and council and the citizens they represent.
The undersigned organizations, collectively representing millions of Americans, advocate on diverse issues but are united in our opposition to the inclusion of social-policy riders targeting the District of Columbia on the appropriations bill. The FY ‘13 DC appropriation included a provision barring the District from using local funds to provide women struggling to make ends meet the ability to make the personal decision to end a pregnancy without interference. DC is the only area in the country with this federally-mandated prohibition. Each year, DC also faces the threat of policy riders barring local spending on critically-needed HIV/AIDS prevention programs and in the past has even been barred from spending local dollars to count votes on a citizen-led initiative. These actions are unfair and intolerable.
Americans will continue to debate these and other issues in communities throughout this country, but what is not up for debate is who gets to decide these questions. The organizations below are all in agreement that DC’s locally-elected leadership should decide what is best for the people of the District of Columbia.
The Mayor of the District of Columbia and the DC Council were elected by DC residents to represent their best interests in the local government. Congress does not impose its views on any other local jurisdiction. We expect Congress to be consistent by letting District residents manage their own affairs without interference or meddling.
DC residents have no vote in the Congress to stop this egregious attack on their local democracy. We urge you to respect DC Home Rule and oppose any efforts that seek to force Congress’ views upon DC residents.
National Network of Abortion Funds
Abortion Care Network
Advocates for Youth
Alliance for Justice
American Civil Liberties Union
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Catholics for Choice
Black Women’s Health Imperative
The Brady Campaign
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Center for Reproductive Rights
Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program
DC Democratic State Committee
DC For Democracy
District of Columbia Republican Party
DC Federation of Democratic Women
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA)
Greater Washington Urban League
Human Rights Campaign
Ibis Reproductive Health
Jews United for Justice
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. ( WAC)
Maternal & Child Health Access
Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO
Ms. Foundation for Women
NARAL Pro-choice America
National Abortion Federation
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Women's Organizations
National Federation of Democratic Women
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Organization for Women (DC's Chapter)
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Urban League
National Women’s Health Network
National Women’s Law Center
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Reproductive Health Technologies Project
Washington Ethical Society
Woman's National Democratic Club
The National Network of Abortion Funds is a network of community-based abortion Funds across the U.S. and abroad. Last year, the Network and Funds directly assisted over 21,500 women who needed help to pay for their abortions. We also work to lift economic barriers to abortion at the state and federal level.