Ap eye on the hill

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

Policy Recap

  • As extreme abortion bans pass in states, activists push back

  • Equality Act passes in the House of Representatives

  • Trump administration rolls back health care anti-discrimination provision

  • House of Representatives reintroduces bills for sex education and health for young people

  • President Trump further threatens immigrants using public benefits

As extreme abortion bans pass in states, activists push back

Five NAPAWF Atlanta activists stand in a crowd of protesters at the Georgia capitol, holding signs advocating for reproductive agency.

Two weeks ago, Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed into law an extreme law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before most people even know they’re pregnant. Then last week, Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed into law a total ban on abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, with the only exception being if the pregnant person’s life is in danger. Finally, Missouri followed suit, passing an eight-week abortion ban that also includes a sex-selective abortion ban and a provision requiring both parents be notified if a minor seeks an abortion. The bill has yet to be signed by the governor. Each of these bills are unconstitutional and violate Roe v. Wade, and abortion is still legal everywhere in the US, including in these states, until the bills go into effect. Court injunctions are expected to follow.

  • Read NAPAWF’s press statements on the abortion bans in Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri

  • Learn more about why sex-selective abortion bans are racist and harmful

  • Join the #AbortionSolidarity week of action that NAPAWF participated in to stand up for abortion funds, abortion clinics, local reproductive justice groups, and state legislator champions

Equality Act passes in the House of Representatives

A rainbow and the stripes of the trans pride flag radiate from behind the United States capitol with the caption: House Passes the Equality Act!

Image source: Garden State Equality

Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, introduced by David Cicilline (D-RI), a bill that would provide explicit protections from discrimination against LGBTQ people. No federal protections currently exist, leaving politicians to use existing laws to discriminate against LGBTQ people such as by using religious freedom laws to block health care access. The Equality Act recognizes that “a single instance of discrimination may have more than one basis” meaning that a pregnant person who identifies as Black, lesbian, and female could be discriminated against based on her sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race, or on the basis of multiple factors, and now find protections under the Equality Act. On the same day, Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage, the first country in Asia to do so.

  • Learn more about the background and next steps for the Equality Act

  • See how your state does in protecting LGBTQ rights

Trump administration rolls back health care anti-discrimination provision

We see right through Trump's attempt to promote discrimination against trans people. Protect Trans Health

Image source: National Center for Transgender Equality

This morning, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule that would undermine Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Also known as the “Health Care Rights Law,” Section 1557 protects individuals seeking health care services from discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, language proficiency, age, or disability. Rolling back this provision, as the rule proposes, would directly target LGBTQ people, immigrants, women of color, and people seeking abortions.

House of Representatives reintroduces bills for sex education and health for young people

Young people need school based sex ed that is LGBTQ inclusive, sex positive, and trauma responsive.

Image Source: SIECUS

Last week, two bills that advance sexual and reproductive health for young people were reintroduced in the House for #SexEdForAll month. The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (H.R. 2720 and S. 1524), reintroduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), would eliminate and reprogram abstinence only programs and replace them with comprehensive sex education that is shame free, medically accurate, and LGBTQ inclusive. The Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act (H.R. 2701 and S. 1530), reintroduced by Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), expands access to comprehensive sex ed and sexual health services for marginalized communities, particularly youth of color and LGBTQ youth.

  • Learn more about why sex ed is especially important for youth of color

President Trump further threatens immigrants using public benefits

On Thursday night, President Trump signed a memorandum instructing federal agencies to collect reimbursements from sponsors of lawful permanent residents (LPRs, or green card holders) for public benefits. The policy is aimed at directly deterring citizens and current LPRs from sponsoring and reuniting with their family members by putting their health and well-being at risk. The memorandum follows a string of attacks on immigrants and family members of immigrants who use public benefits.

  • Read about the Department of Justice’s plan to deport immigrants who use public benefits
  • Read about the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s plan that could evict 55,000 immigrant children of mixed status families
ap eye on the courts

On Thursday, May 16, the Senate voted to confirm Wendy Vitter to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Vitter’s record both in her personal and professional life demonstrates hostility toward communities of color, including our community. Among many other things, she refused to say that Brown v. Board of Education, a case that declared segregation to be unconstitutional, was correctly decided, she opposed refugee resettlement work, and she is vocally and actively anti-abortion. NAPAWF, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health sent a letter to the Senate opposing Vitter’s confirmation.

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the NAPAWF legal team wrote a guest blog post for Alliance For Justice’s Justice Watch Blog. The blog post discusses the story of Wong Kim Ark, his historic Supreme Court court case upholding birthright citizenship, the relevance of his case to anti-immigrant sentiment and policies today, and the importance of the courts in fighting for justice for our communities.

Other Legal News

Stay vigilant and up to date on legal news by following our new legal blog, AP(Eye) on the Courts!

NAPAWF in the News 📰

  • May 24, 2019, Colorlines, “Say My Name: On the Importance of Taking Up Space and Making Noise” by NAPAWF Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow
  • May 23, 2019, Rewire.News, "Georgia, Alabama Advocates to Would-Be Boycotters: Don’t Write Us Off"
  • May 17, 2019, Teen Vogue, "Where to Donate and How to Help Keep Abortion Legal"
  • May 17, 2019, Truthout, "As Abortion Restrictions Sweep the South, Look to Southerners to Lead"
  • May 16, 2019, Refinery29, "You Can Still Get An Abortion In Alabama & Georgia"
  • May 15, 2019, Los Angeles Sentinel, "Congressmember Bobby Scott and other Members Reintroduce Bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to Protect Pregnant Workers From Workplace Discrimination"
  • May 13, 2019, Rewire.News, "Abortion Care Is Still Legal in Georgia"

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