News Abortion

D.C. Rep.: Abortion Rider “Tramples Democracy”

Robin Marty

One Congresswoman fights back on the omnibus spending bill with a rider that continues the D.C. ban on abortion funding.

The omnibus spending bill needed to keep the government functioning past Friday night has been agreed upon by both parties in the House and the Senate.  But Washington D.C. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton isn’t happy with one of the sweeteners added into the budget to get Republican votes — a continuation of the recent policy stating D.C. cannot use its own Medicaid funds to help low income women pay to terminate a pregnancy.

According to Norton, the policy does nothing more than “trample on democracy.”


D.C.’s nonvoting Congressional delegate released a statement attacking a rider attached to the bill that forbids the District from using its own money to fund abortion services for low-income women.

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“We will never be satisfied as long as there is a single prohibition on D.C.’s use of its local funds,” Norton’s statement said in part. “It is especially ironic that the final sticking point in the negotiations on the conference report was how to promote democracy in Cuba while the bill tramples on democracy in the ‘capital of the free world’ with a rider keeping its residents from spending their own local funds on abortion services for low-income women.”

The omnibus spending bill passed both the House and Senate this weekend, with the understanding that a bill to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits would pass next.  The House Republicans have since stated they will no longer pass the Senate’s bill.

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