Urge HHS Secretary Becerra to Expand Medication Abortion Access

The issue: Medication abortion, two pills taken within a short window, is safe, reliable, and can offer an important option for many who are ten weeks pregnant or less.

The good news: In December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permanently repealed its in person dispensing requirements for medicaiton abortion. 

Our task: The FDA left in place several barriers that continue to unnecessarily restrict and stigmatize this safe medication. Urge Health and Human Services, which oversees the FDA, to remove the remaining obstacles and facilitate medication abortion access.

Lawmakers Must Pass Appropriations Bills Free of Abortion Coverage Bans!

The issue: For over 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has been added to annual appropriations (spending) bills. This policy denying insurance coverage of abortion to those enrolled in federal health plans and programs disproportionately harms Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities and is a painful example of how systemic racism permeates our federal laws and regulations.

The good news: We are thrilled that the House has introduced spending bills eliminating the Hyde Amendment and similar abortion coverage bans, ensuring that each of us can make our own decisions about our future and health with dignity and economic security.

Our task: Urge your Representatives to pass clean appropriations bills free of abortion coverage bans!

Every year, Congress embarks on the appropriations process to decide how the federal government will spend money on programs impacting the daily lives of women, children, and families. Each of the 12 House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees drafts a spending bill that must pass the Subcommittee, the full Appropriations Committee, and the full House and Senate. A conference committee then meets to work out the differences between the House and Senate bills before sending the final versions to the president’s desk.

This year, for the first time in decades, the House has introduced a spending bill that does not ban Medicaid insurance coverage of abortion through the Hyde Amendment. Hyde language has also been removed from additional spending bills impacting federal employees and dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, pregnant individuals in federal prisons and detention centers, and Washington, DC residents.

Now, Representatives (particularly Appropriations Committee members) must reject efforts by anti-abortion lawmakers to add these discriminatory and immoral coverage bans back into the bills. Instead, they must pass clean bills to ensure respect, dignity, and equal access to the resources necessary to control our bodies, families, and futures, including insurance coverage of abortion.

*For DC residents, we continue working towards full voting representation in the US Congress. Click here to tell the Senate to make DC a state!

Tell your lawmakers to support health care access for immigrant families!

  • The issue: Immigrants can’t access affordable health services. Those classified as “lawful permanent residents” have to wait five years before they can access Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) while undocumented immigrants face additional challenges accessing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance marketplaces and tax credits.
  • The good news: The Health Equity and Access Under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Families Act is designed to remove current legal barriers and restore access to affordable coverage for these immigrants.
  • Our task: Urge your lawmakers to cosponsor the HEAL Act.

Consistent with the Jewish value of kavod ha bri’ot, NCJW believes that every individual deserves to be healthy and thrive to obtain care with respect and dignity. However, immigrants are forced to navigate a complicated patchwork of care that often forces them to delay, forego, or pay out-of-pocket for basic health services. Under current law, immigrants with status as lawful permanent residents have been forced to wait five years before participating in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). What’s more, undocumented immigrants are also blocked from purchasing insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) exchanges and accessing premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. Without the affordable coverage offered through these programs, obtaining health care is not a reality for many immigrant families.

*For DC residents, we continue working towards full voting representation in the US Congress. Click here to tell the Senate to make DC a state!

Safeguard Pregnant Workers!

The issue: Despite the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, too many pregnant workers are fired, forced to quit, or take unpaid leave, simply for requesting a reasonable accommodation so they can keep working.

The good news: The bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (S 1486) would help end this form of discrimination by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations for a limitation arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions unless doing so would pose an undue hardship on the employer.

Our task: In May 2021, the bill passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support. We need to convince the Senate to do the same!

*For DC residents, we continue working towards full voting representation in the US Congress. Click here to tell the Senate to make DC a state!

 

Demand Equal Pay

Nearly 60 years after the landmark 1963 Equal Pay Act, women earn only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men – and the gap is much wider for women of color. The Paycheck Fairness Act (HR 7/S 205), introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), would deter wage discrimination by updating and strengthening the Equal Pay Act. In April 2021, the House of Representatives passed this critical bill 217-210 with bipartisan support. It’s time for the Senate to follow suit!

*For DC residents, we continue working towards full voting representation in the US Congress. Click here to tell the Senate to make DC a state!

Sign the Petition to the Biden-Harris Administration: Permanently End Unnecessary Restrictions on Medication Abortion

Mifepristone: a drug approved by the FDA to end an early pregnancy that can be ingested by an individual on their own time, in their own space.
• The issue: a longstanding FDA rule requires providers to be in the same place as patients seeking mifepristone, causing those seeking the medication in traditional settings to struggle to find providers nearby and adding an extra layer of danger due to the pandemic.
• The good news: the FDA suspended this rule as of 4/12/21, allowing clinicians to prescribe via telehealth (i.e. during long-distance visits using video calls).
• Our task: petition the Biden-Harris Administration to permanently end the restriction and allow remote prescriptions and mail delivery of abortion medication.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just suspended its enforcement of the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This important victory for reproductive freedom means that, in states where the practice is not specifically prohibited, a clinician can now prescribe mifepristone via telehealth and the abortion medication can be delivered by mail.

No one should be forced to risk unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 — jeopardizing their health and life and that of their family and community — by traveling to a hospital or clinic to pick up abortion medication in person, a requirement that is not imposed on any of the other more than 20,000 FDA-approved drugs. Permanently ending the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone is not only consistent with scientific and medical evidence, but will improve access, particularly for the people of color, people who live in rural areas, and those struggling to make ends meet who are disproportionately impacted by this medically unnecessary abortion restriction.
Help us move closer to a world where every person is able to access comprehensive, affordable, compassionate, and equitable abortion care in whatever setting they choose and at whatever time they choose. Add your name below to thank the Biden-Harris administration for their work to lift the in-person dispensing requirement during the pandemic and to urge the FDA to do so permanently.

Sign the petition below to the Biden-Harris administration: The FDA must permanently end the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone.