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

  • New York City Council introduces resolution opposing sex-selective abortion bans
  • Congress introduces bill for over-the-counter oral contraception
  • The House of Representatives takes action to protect Title X

New York City Council introduces resolution opposing sex-selective abortion bans

A woman speaks at a podium while a crowd of people hold signs in support of funding abortion care. Someone in the crowd is displaying a NAPAWF sign and hoodie.

Image Source: Fund Abortion NYC Coalition

Last Thursday, New York City Council Member Margaret S. Chin introduced a resolution opposing sex-selective abortion bans, which prohibits doctors from performing abortions if they suspect the patient is having an abortion based on the sex of the fetus. Sex-selective abortion bans perpetuate the false racist and sexist stereotypes that AAPI people prefer sons and open the door for racial profiling of AAPIs seeking prenatal care. This resolution was introduced along with four others, that aim to promote reproductive rights in New York. The next day, New York City became the first city in the United States to allocate some of its Fiscal Year budget toward abortion care.

  • Read our press statement supporting New York City Council’s resolution
  • Learn more about the other Council Members’ resolutions for reproductive rights
  • Check out Oakland’s 2015 and San Francisco’s 2014 resolutions opposing sex-selective abortion bans


Congress introduces bill for over-the-counter oral contraception

It shouldn't be this hard to get the birth control pill. Free the pill

Image source: Free the Pill

Last Thursday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Katie Hill (D-CA), and Ami Bera M.D. (D-CA), introduced the Affordability is Access Act (S. 1532 and H.R.3163, respectively). The bill ensures that FDA-approved oral birth control is covered by health insurance and provided over-the-counter without a prescription. The bill seeks to improve access to oral contraceptives for people of color, low-income people, immigrants, and young people who otherwise face many barriers in obtaining basic preventive care. Though AAPI women use contraception at roughly the same rate as other women of color, they tend to use more effective methods, such as birth control and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) at a lower rate and instead opt for cheaper but less-effective methods.

  • Check out our op-ed on why AAPI women need better access to birth control
  • Learn more about what birth control means to different people
  • See what your state laws are for coverage of oral contraceptives

The House of Representatives takes action to protect Title X

How we protect birth control and Title X: Protective Language in a bill, house votes to keep language in bill, bill has passed the House. Now we take our fight to the Senate

Image source: Planned Parenthood Action

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a spending bill that seeks to prevent the Trump-Pence Title X domestic gag rule from going into effect. The bill also repeals the global gag rule and blocks the Trump administrations refusals rule. The same day, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on the Title X gag rule and its harmful impact. Though the Title X gag rule was blocked by the courts, on Thursday the Ninth Circuit issued a stay of the preliminary injunction, rendered the rule effective immediately.  Title X patients are disproportionately women of color, and 13% have Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

  • Read our press statement in opposition to the domestic gag rule
  • See our fact sheet with In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) on the disproportionate harm the Title X gag rule has on women of color.
  • Learn the basics of the Title X program and the Trump-Pence rule
ap eye on the courts

On June 14, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision that largely upheld a preliminary injunction prohibiting the government from denying unaccompanied immigrant minors in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) access to abortion. NAPAWF, with the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, filed an amicus brief in this case. The D.C. Circuit Court’s opinion is an important victory for our communities, as it secures unaccompanied immigrant minors access to abortion care, autonomous reproductive decision making, and reproductive freedom.

On June 20, 2019, a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed preliminary injunctions granted by three different courts in California, Oregon, and Washington that prevented the Title X gag rule from going into effect. The opinion of the Ninth Circuit means that the rule will go into effect immediately everywhere except for Maryland. The rule prevents Title X providers from referring patients for abortion.

Other Legal News

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

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