Congress Facings Looming Deadline for Budget

As lawmakers craft a new budget, many are advocating for lawmakers to prioritize basic reproductive health measures.

One of these measures is the Peace Corps Bill, which guarantees equal access to contraception to Peace Corps volunteers. It will updates decades old laws to give women in the Peace Corps the same insurance coverage of abortion and contraceptives that those in every other federally insured role get. Currently, the lack of coverage for women in the Corps is prohibitive for many, but particularly damaging for survivors of sexual assault.

Congress is also being urged to include funding for cancer screenings and family planning services for low income women, as well as funding for comprehensive sexual education and teen pregnancy prevention programs. All of these programs and initiatives are smart investments in America’s families, helping women exercise their right to choose when and how to start a family.

If a spending bill is not passed by the December 11 deadline, the remaining options are an omnibus spending bill or a continuing resolution. If this occurs and Congress opts for a CR, then funding for all programs will remain at current levels until 2015. However, funding for Title X programs in 2014 was at the same levels as it was in 2005 despite new programs and needs in reproductive health. Funding for all of these programs need to be strengthened in order to make sound investments in women’s health.

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