The female members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday sent a letter to the Democratic women of the Senate asking them to speak out against restrictions on abortion funding in Washington, D.C.
Though the CBC women lauded the Senators for protesting attempts to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, they wrote that they are “deeply disappointed” that Senate Democrats allowed a rider restricting abortion funding in the District.
“Not only did this concession by Democrats violate our party’s long-standing support for reproductive choice and for the District’s right to self-government, it was unnecessary,” the CBC women wrote. “As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has noted, 59 House Republicans voted against the CR. This means 36 Democratic votes were needed to reach 218 votes for passage.”
They asked that the Senators keep the District in mind, looking ahead to Wednesday’s expected House consideration of H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which the CBC women said would permanently bar what they consider local revenue from being spent on abortions in D.C.
“Although we know you will not allow H.R. 3 to pass in the Senate, House Republicans may feel emboldened to bring up a permanent D.C. abortion ban as a stand-alone bill or to attach it to another bill,” the CBC women wrote. “The consideration of H.R. 3 on the House floor could provide you an occasion to speak out against it and to note the D.C. provision as a special reason for your opposition.”
The letter was also sent to Pelosi (D-Calif.), President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.