Latina Leaders Condemn Restrictions on Women’s Health in Homeland Security Bill
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) condemns House passage of an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill that would prohibit federal funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide abortion care for women in ICE detention centers. “Passage of the Aderholt amendment shows remarkable contempt for some of the most vulnerable women in our community,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH. “A woman’s ability to pay should not determine whether she has access to safe abortion care—and this amendment would make it almost impossible for a woman in detention to get the care she needs.”Women in immigration detention, like other women in federal custody, are already denied access to coverage for abortion care under the restrictive and harmful terms of the Hyde amendment and other bans on abortion coverage. Furthermore, DHS also already has comprehensive, stakeholder-reviewed standards for access to health care in detention (the Performance-Based National Detention Standards, released in February 2012) and those standards mimic existing policies. The Aderholt amendment duplicates existing restrictions.“This bill adds insult to injury for women in detention, some of whom are US citizens and many of whom have committed no crime other than their presence in this country. The unacceptably high and well-documented incidence of rape in immigration detention makes eliminating abortion access even more harmful for this population,” González-Rojas added.NLIRH calls on leaders in Congress to restore coverage for abortion care for all women, including women in federal custody.