The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted to allow abortion coverage for Peace Corps volunteers in limited circumstances, indicating bipartisan support for a measure that the Senate Appropriations Committee voted for last week.
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed measures on Thursday that would repeal a total abortion coverage ban for Peace Corps volunteers, as well as permanently repeal the so-called Global Gag Rule.
The bill also seeks to ban coverage of some forms of birth control, which anti-choice lawmakers incorrectly argue are abortifacients.
A new report released Monday, coordinated with a lobbying effort on Capitol Hill, says that returning Peace Corps volunteers see a policy denying them abortion coverage under any circumstances as “punitive and unfair” and think it needs to be changed.
Rep. Margo Davidson is campaigning for the upcoming Democratic primary on a pro-choice platform, but she has in the past voted for a bill that shut down abortion clinics in the state as well as for a law banning insurers from selling policies that cover abortion care through the state’s insurance exchange.
Reproductive rights advocates in Texas have filed another challenge to abortion restrictions in the state, while federal courts in Arizona and Alabama consider similar challenges.
Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a ban on private insurance coverage of most abortion care in the state, as well as a watered-down version of a bill that pro-choice advocates earlier feared could lead to harassment of doctors.
No state has seen as many anti-choice bills introduced this year as Missouri, where Republican lawmakers are simultaneously resisting an expansion of Medicaid that could improve health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of residents.
The Georgia legislature overwhelmingly passed a ban on insurance coverage of abortion for many health plans in the state last week. Lawmakers also refused to expand Medicaid, fueling outraged protests.
While the controversial new law, which went into effect Thursday, allows insurance companies to offer abortion coverage as an optional rider, it turns out that no companies will offer those riders on the individual market.