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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881
press@prochoice.org

U.S. House of Representatives Lifts DC Abortion Ban

Tonight, Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), commended the U.S. House of Representatives 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.

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

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.

President Obama's FY 2010 Budget called on Congress to lift the ban on the District's use of locally raised funds for abortion care. We urge the Senate to join the House in taking action to end this discriminatory policy.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org.

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