Skip to main content

Strickland, Schakowsky, Colleagues Celebrate Passage of Funding Bill Free of Reproductive Health Restrictions

July 29, 2021

Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), who co-led the introduction of the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, joined Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Senior Chief Deputy Whip, Chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus Providers and Clinics Task Force in releasing the following joint statement. Strickland and Schakowsky were joined by Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act co-leads and Pro-Choice Caucus champions: Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Diana DeGette (CO-01), and Norma Torres (CA-35) on the statement:

“This is a truly historic moment. For the first time in history, the State and Foreign Operations Programs (SFOPS) appropriations bill has passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives without the Helms Amendment in it. We thank Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro for her excellent leadership on this historic effort and for support for our commitment to end harmful restrictions like the Helms Amendment which have endangered people’s health, dignity, and lives around the world.

“Since 1973, the Helms Amendment has made it impossible for millions to seek reproductive care – including life-saving routine screenings. Helms not only undermines a person’s health and wellbeing, but also their economic freedom. People in low- and middle-income countries deserve the safety and dignity of essential health care, which includes comprehensive reproductive health care.

“As we address a global pandemic and a maternal mortality crisis, we cannot miss this moment to prove that the United States is a world leader when it comes to public health and fundamental reproductive health rights. The United States must not stand in the way of access to health care and make no mistake: Abortion is health care.

“Further, we must continue this momentum to permanently repeal the Helms Amendment from statute, and to pass the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act! The time is now!”

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland serves as Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and serves as a Member of the House Armed Services Committee. She is one of the first Korean-American women elected to Congress and the first African-American to represent the Pacific Northwest at the federal level.