WAMU 88.5 : News

House Bill Again Prohibits Spending On Abortions In D.C.

As in many years past, a proposed House spending bill for D.C. would fully ban any spending on abortions within the city.

The bill unveiled on Tuesday by a House Appropriations subcommittee provides D.C. with $636 million in federal funds while laying out how the city can and cannot spend the money. The bill prohibits the use of federal funds for needle exchange programs and the city's nascent medical marijuana program, while more broadly forbidding city officials from putting local or federal funds towards abortions for low-income women.

Congressional Republicans have often used spending bills for D.C. to propose controversial social policies or limit D.C. initiatives; after a 1998 referendum allowing medical marijuana, Congress moved to prohibit the city from implementing the program until almost a decade later.

Abortion is often a target for social conservatives on Capitol Hill—Republicans regularly move to prohibit D.C. from spending any money on helping pay for them, and last year the House voted for a bill that would have banned all abortions within city limits after 20 weeks.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and D.C. voting rights advocates have long fought to keep such "riders" off of spending bills, and in 2009 claimed victory when Democrats lifted longstanding restrictions on the use of funds for needle exchange programs and abortions. Those restrictions were quickly reinstated by Republicans a year later, though.

“This is a direct attack on the D.C. Home Rule Act,” said D.C. Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry in a statement. “D.C. Vote, along with our powerful coalition, will not tolerate members of Congress using the people of the District of Columbia to advance a narrow social policy agenda in direct opposition with our local priorities. Members of Congress who support these onerous riders will be hearing from their constituents.”

The spending bill will be discussed at a hearing on Wednesday, after which it will have to go to the Senate.

NPR

Check Out These Musicians Who Literally Play With Their Food

It turns out beans aren't the only musical fruit. The London Vegetable Orchestra is one of many musical acts that uses all sorts of fruit and veg to produce sweet (and savory) sounds.
NPR

Check Out These Musicians Who Literally Play With Their Food

It turns out beans aren't the only musical fruit. The London Vegetable Orchestra is one of many musical acts that uses all sorts of fruit and veg to produce sweet (and savory) sounds.
NPR

Late-Night Host Jimmy Kimmel Is Negotiating A Presidential Debate. It Makes Sense

Just after Bernie Sanders thanked Kimmel for possibly securing the debate last night, Kimmel made a Batman vs. Superman joke about Democratic superdelegates.
NPR

Hokule'a, The Hawaiian Canoe Traveling The World By A Map Of The Stars

A voyaging canoe built to revive the centuries-old tradition of Hawaiian exploration is circumnavigating the globe. Its crew has already traveled 26,000 miles navigating with the sun, stars and waves.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.