On Monday, President Obama delivered the proposed budget for fiscal year 2011 to Congress.
We are grateful that the Administration has expanded federal funds for Title X family planning programs and clinics, which invest in reproductive health and wellness for Latinas and immigrant women and provide reproductive health care to many Latinas. Latinas have the highest uninsured rate of women of any other racial or ethnic group, at 37%, and it is critical that during our national economic crisis we continue to offer an essential source of reproductive health and preventative services, especially for low-income women.
It is also good news that the President has increased funding for evidence-based sex education and for community health centers, which are an essential source of reproductive and preventive health care for low-income Latinas and immigrant women.
However, we are deeply disappointed with the President’s decision to preserve the harmful provision known as the Hyde Amendment in the FY 2011 budget. A woman’s ability to access a legal, safe abortion remains under attack, and as evidenced by health care reform debates, the Hyde Amendment only serves as ammunition. Over a quarter of women on Medicaid are Latinas, and low-income Latina and immigrant women are disproportionately impacted by restrictions to abortion access. Preserving this provision will enable a politically-motivated barrier to continue and restricts safe, legal abortions for poor women.
While it is important to recognize that the budget includes some victories for reproductive health access, it is also crucial to speak out against provisions that prevent true reproductive justice. Basta! 33 years is enough!