Assault on Planned Parenthood Thwarted

An amendment to prohibit funding to provide contraceptive and family planning services to low income women and men in the United States was sounded defeated, despite best efforts of a leading anti-women’s health policy maker, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN).  The lop-sided 247-183 vote showed strong opposition to Pence’s never-ending…

Big Step Forward and Small Step Back in Removing Syringe Exchange Ban

In an effort to promote sound HIV prevention policies, Rep. José Serrano led the U.S. House of Representatives effort to end the ban on federal funding for needle and syringe exchange programs by including the ban-ending provision in the based FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services…

Increase in Title X Funding for Low-Income Families

Understanding the growing needs faced by many in the country, the House-passed FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill increased funding by $10 million to $317.5 million for the Title X program, which provides contraceptive and other reproductive health services for low-income women and men. Under President Obama and the…

Abstinence-Only Funding Zeroed-Out with Funding Appropriated for Teen Pregnancy Initiative

Taking an important step in ending funding for failed abstinence-only education programs, the House passed its version of the FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill with no funding for these programs and making a $114.5 million investment in a new evidence-based teenage pregnancy prevention initiative.  As expected, amendments were offered…

Ban on District of Columbia’s Use of Local Funds for Abortion May Be Eliminated

Thanks to the leadership of the House Financial Services Subcommittee Chairmen, Rep. José Serrano (D-NY) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Congress is poised to lift a ban which currently prohibits the District of Columbia from using its own local funds to provide abortion services.  For many years Congress has…

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Votes Down Several Amendments that Would Limit Women’s Access to Health Care

During the extensive deliberation of health care reform legislation by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, the Committee defeated several anti-reproductive health amendments that if passed would have limited access to reproductive healthcare. These included amendments from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) who attempted to ban…

Increases Made in Key Global Health Programs

The House included $7.79 billion dollars for global health in its version of the FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, an increase of about $690 million from the previous year. It includes $528 million for maternal and child health (up from $495 million in FY09); $648.5 million for family planning, including $60 million…

Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Bill that Legislatively Rescinds the Global Gag Rule

The Senate Appropriations Committee took a stand for the health and rights of women and girls by voting 17 – 11 to pass an amendment that would restrict a future President’s ability to reinstate the Global Gag Rule. Cosponsored by Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Susan Collins (R-ME),…

US Leadership on Reproductive Health at the United Nations

After eight years of failed leadership, the US renewed its commitment to reproductive health and the goals and aspirations of the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) Program of Action. During its statement at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development, the US strongly articulated its…

Rejoining the Global Community in Funding UNFPA

The Department of State announced that it will contribute $50 million to UNFPA, the amount appropriated by Congress for FY2009. This decision is one indication of the Obama Administration’s strong commitment to international family planning, women’s health, and global development. With its renewed funding for UNFPA, the US has joined the international community…