Ap eye on the hill

AP(Eye) on the Hill is our biweekly highlight of significant federal updates, particularly those that impact AAPI communities regarding reproductive, immigration, and economic justice. Learn about NAPAWF's and other national AAPI groups' federal policy work while you're out on the ground!

Policy Recap

  • President Trump declares national emergency in order to build border wall

  • Trump administration issues new rule further restricting abortion access

  • Senators plan to vote on abortion bill that would harm our communities

President Trump declares national emergency in order to build border wall

Image source: Amnesty International

This morning, Trump declared a national emergency in order to access funding for a border wall, falsely claiming an immigrant crisis at the border. The declaration came after the three week deadline set for Congress to negotiate a funding bill in order to avoid a government shutdown. Lawsuits are expected to follow under the argument that Trump's claims of an immigrant crisis do not justify declaring a national emergency.

  • Read NAPAWF's statement on the declaration

  • Learn more about why a border wall is a bad idea and a waste of federal taxpayer dollars

Trump administration issues new rule further restricting abortion access

ABORTION ACCESS

Image Source: PBS

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued new proposed rule that would hinder access to abortion care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the proposed rule, qualified health plans on the ACA insurance marketplace that cover abortion must also offer "mirror plans" that offer the same health plan without abortion. The intent of the rule is to discourage insurers from offering plans that cover abortion, and because the state exchanges have been an important tool in narrowing racial health disparities, the rule would have a disproportionate impact on communities of color.

  • Make your voice heard! Submit a public comment by Tuesday, February 19 opposing this proposed rule.

Senators plan to vote on abortion bill that would harm our communities

STOP THE SHAM

Image Source: Center for Reproductive Rights

This week, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed cloture for a bill to be voted on immediately following Senate recess next week. The bill, S. 311, specifically injects politicians into our relationships with our doctors by undermining providers' ability to do what's best for pregnant people. The result is that pregnant people seeking abortions later in pregnancy cannot get the abortion care that they need because providers could be criminalized. Furthermore, it ignores the many barriers that individuals face in seeking abortion care, such as cost, distance, and other restrictions that have been imposed on abortion access. These attacks on abortion care followed Trump's State of the Union Address, in which he demanded that Congress restrict access to abortion later in pregnancy.

  • Call your Senators now at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote "NO" on S. 311

Ap Eye on the courts


Senate votes to confirm William Barr as United States Attorney General

The United States Senate voted to confirm William Barr to serve as the United States Attorney General. NAPAWF, in conjunction with In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, wrote a letter of opposition to Barr's confirmation and citing concerns of his ability to enforce civil rights laws.

D.C. Circuit Court Nominee Neomi Rao testifies in the Senate

Neomi Rao, Trump's Nominee for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, testified in a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 5. During her hearing, Rao not only addressed her troublesome record at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) but also doubled down on her survivor-blaming comments on sexual assault. Along with In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, NAPAWF  wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee and an op-ed in The Hill opposing her confirmation.

See our fact sheet on what's at stake for AAPI women and girls if Neomi Rao is confirmed.

Supreme Court blocks enforcement of Louisiana abortion law while it considers review

Last week, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to block a Louisiana law restricting abortion access from going into effect, while the Supreme Court considers whether to review a case challenging the law.  The Louisiana law requires doctors at abortion clinics to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. In a prior decision in 2016, the Supreme Court found that a virtually identical law in Texas was unconstitutional.  However, in the Louisiana case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the Louisiana law is constitutional, finding that abortion access would not be substantially restricted in Louisiana. Currently, there are only 3 abortion clinics that remain open in Louisiana, and these clinics predict that they will either have to close or reduce services if the Louisiana law goes into effect. The Supreme Court will now consider whether to grant review of the Fifth Circuit's decision.  

Other Legal News

  • Check out our op-ed in Rewire on the Trump Administration's new rules regarding birth control coverage, which would vastly expand the number of employers allowed exemptions from covering birth control for their employees, and the harmful impact these rules would have on AAPI women if they go into effect.
  • Stay vigilant and up to date on legal news by following our new legal blog, AP(Eye) on the Courts!
     

NAPAWF in the News

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