Senate to Restrict Abortion Funding for IHS

The Senate today passed a bill that would severely limit funding for abortion within the Indian Health Services (IHS). But the ban, introduced by anti-choice Sen. David Vitter, would result in no change to current IHS policy. Like Medicaid, IHS funding for abortion is governed by the Hyde Amendment, which permits federal funding only in cases of threat to the woman's health, rape or incest.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said, "Sen. Vitter's amendment is simply a political tactic that will do nothing to improve health care for Native Americans, nor reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. If Sen. Vitter is serious about preventing unintended pregnancies, he would support prevention legislation that invests in family planning programs."

Planned Parenthood also points out that having duplicative law could cause confusion if the Hyde Amendment or other abortion law were to be amended or to change.

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  • invalid-0

    for bringing this to the attention of the public, many of whom are unaware of how horribly legislation like this disproportionately affects Native American women. What a message they are sending to Native women everywhere by further trying to restrict access. Like you said, if they truly cared about improving IHS and the standard of care for Native Americans, perhaps they could invest into family planning services that would provide more options than outdated birth control pills that a regular doctor would never prescribe a woman in a regular doctor’s office. Maybe they could work harder to pass laws to protect Native American women, since they are almost three times as likely to be victims of rape and domestic violence.

    Thank-you again, for this post. Most people don’t even pay attention when amendments like this are passed. I sincerely hope that a Pro-Choice President can come along in time to help repair the damage.