July 20, 2017
Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding bill out of committee along party lines. Ultimately passed out of Committee with the original threats still intact, this bill continues to pose a direct threat to the sexual and reproductive health, wellbeing, and rights of young people across the nation.
Despite efforts to protect programs that support adolescent sexual health—led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23)—the House funding bill remains devastating for these investments.
All Minority (Democratic) members of the Committee, as well as Majority (Republican) member Charlie Dent (R-PA-15), voted in favor of the amendment to restore funding for the Office of Adolescent Health’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, eliminate the $20 million proposed funding for the abstinence-only-until-marriage “sexual risk avoidance” program, and increase CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health by $20 million. Congressman Dent’s vote indicates the first time the amendment has garnered bipartisan support since House Appropriations Republicans began attacking TPP funding in 2011.
Unfortunately, as initially introduced, the LHHS FY2018 funding bill continues to:
- Eliminate the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program entirely
- Increase abstinence-only-until-marriage “sexual risk avoidance” funding by 33% to $20 million
- Only level-fund the CDC’s school-based HIV prevention efforts
- Withhold funding to support the Affordable Care Act
- Prohibit funding for the Title X Family Planning Program
- “Defund” Planned Parenthood from mandatory and discretionary health care programs
- Include multiple harmful new ideological policy riders and existing harmful riders, including the discriminatory Hyde amendment
The House floor is the next stop for the bill, though unlikely to head that way until after Members return from the August recess.
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