House FY 2020 spending bill increases support for adolescent sexual health programs, disappointingly includes Hyde Amendment
For Immediate Release
June 19, 2019
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330
(Washington, DC) – Today, the House of Representative passed a spending measure to fund the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) among multiple other government agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2020. Samantha Dercher, SIECUS’ Federal Policy Director, released the following statement in response:
“Finally, the House is passing a budget that prioritizes the sexual and reproductive health of young people. We are thrilled to see members of Congress put evidence over ideology with the elimination of funding for failed, ineffective abstinence-only ‘Sexual Risk Avoidance’ programs.
And while we are grateful to see increased funding for adolescent sexual health promotion programs, we call on all members to ensure that these programs are implemented according to their Congressional intent. Congress must actively work to prevent the Trump administration from unlawfully misusing these programs to support their outdated, stigmatizing abstinence-only approach.
SIECUS supports the provisions in this bill that promote sexual health information, access to care, and LGBTQ equality, but remains adamantly opposed to the inclusion of the Hyde amendment. The Hyde amendment prohibits coverage of abortion care through federal programs like Medicaid, cutting off access to abortion care for millions of people across the country.
The Hyde Amendment directly targets low-income individuals who already struggle to make ends meet–forcing them to pay high out-of-pocket costs or forego the safe, legal abortion care they need altogether. And coverage bans like these impact young people, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, immigrants, and other marginalized groups most.
SIECUS thanks our champions in Congress, including Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee, Diana DeGette, Jan Schakowsky, Judy Chu, Jackie Speier, Seth Moulton, and Chuy García for their hard-fought attempts to remove the Hyde Amendment from this bill.
Though unlikely to pass in the Senate in its current form, we urge Congress to come together to support the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.”
The House-passed funding bill includes the following:
- $110 million for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), reflecting a $9 million increase over FY 2019, and allowing for continued funding for the current cohort of grantees whose programs were cut short by the Trump administration’s attacks on the program
- $6.8 million in TPPP evaluation funds, which are used to examine the effectiveness of demonstration programs and help inform new adolescent health promotion programs
- $50 million for the Division of Adolescent and School Health (a $16.9 million increase over FY 2019), which provides school-based HIV prevention education and supports vital research like the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
- $400 million for the Title X family planning program, a $113.5 million increase over FY 2019
- $3.2 billion for HIV/AIDS research, including increased funding for the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, and other efforts to reduce new HIV infections by 90 percent over the next decade
- Increased funding for domestic violence prevention and sexual violence prevention at the CDC
- Prohibitions on implementing the Trump administration’s transgender military ban and overturns their recent decision to ban federal funding for medical research using fetal tissue
- The elimination of funding for the discretionary abstinence-only “Sexual Risk Avoidance” program
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sex education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS asserts that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the rights of all people to accurate information, comprehensive sexuality education, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.