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D.C. Abortion Providers Balk At Congressional Budget Rider

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Pro-life protesters in front of the Supreme Court in 2005. A budget deal reached Friday night bans D.C. from funding abortions.
Pro-life protesters in front of the Supreme Court in 2005. A budget deal reached Friday night bans D.C. from funding abortions.

In 2009, Congress revoked a federal prohibition that had barred D.C. from using government funding to assist low-income women with terminating their pregnancies. But the budget agreement reached to keep the government running late Friday now forbids the city government from paying for abortions at all. Charlotte Taft of the Abortion Care Network says this law has far reaching consequences.

"It does mean that once again women are on their own and even women who are the poorest of the poor are on their own for very, very essential and basic health care options," Taft says.

For many, the question is about sovereignty. Kate Vlach is on the board of the D.C. Abortion Fund. She says the federal government is encroaching on people's rights in the District.

"It disenfranchises many of us here, and it blocks the ability of the D.C. Council who are our elected officials to make decisions about what we do with our own tax dollars that we pay to the city for services that include medical care," says Vlach.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray wrote on Twitter Saturday morning that the compromise was a "shameful violation of our right to govern ourselves."


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