Reproductive Health and Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Join to Oppose Restrictions on Women’s Health in Homeland Security Bill

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) joins over 50 national, state, and local organizations in condemning the inclusion of a provision (the Aderholt Amendment) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act, passed last night by the US House of Representatives, that would target reproductive health care for women in detention. The coalition opposing this provision collectively represent, advocate for, or support health, rights, and justice for immigrant women, migrant women, refugee women, and their families.
The provision targets immigrant women’s reproductive health care with unnecessary and mean-spirited restrictions on access to abortion by prohibiting federal funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide abortion care for women in ICE detention centers.
“Once again, immigrant women are being targeted with cruel attacks and bad policy,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH. “Last month, the House voted to strip basic protections for immigrant victims of violence; last night they voted to double-down on restrictions on abortion access for women in detention.”
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 already has comprehensive, stakeholder-reviewed standards for access to health care in detention (the Performance-Based National Detention Standards, released in February 2012).
González-Rojas added, “This provision strikes at a population of women who already face substandard conditions, are shackled during childbirth, and endure an epidemic of sexual assault in federal custody. Women in detention are already vulnerable, and this provision would add another layer of injustice to an already tragic situation.”
To view the letter from 50 national, state, and local organizations, please visit our website.
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national organization working on behalf of the reproductive health and justice of the 20 million Latinas, their families and communities in the United States through public education, community mobilization and policy advocacy.

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