FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2022
Sarah Garfinkel, West End Strategy Team; 202-765-4290
WASHINGTON – In response to House and Senate passage of the omnibus spending bill, National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz said:
“Each year, the appropriations process is an opportunity to clarify our priorities as a country and invest in the lives of women, children and families. National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is grateful for the inclusion of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as well as increased funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) in the FY 22 omnibus spending bill.
“Every VAWA reauthorization is an opportunity to strengthen the law based on our increased understanding of gender-based violence. This time is no different. Informed by survivors and advocates, VAWA would invest in prevention; increase access to services for survivors, including community-specific services; maintain existing protections for all survivors, including immigrant, LGBTQ, and Native survivors; expand access to safety and justice for Native survivors; sustain vital non-discrimination provisions; improve access for culturally specific communities; and address the needs of incarcerated women. It is an important step in the right direction for survivors. And, the increase in the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides grants to enhance security at nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attacks, is welcome at a time when our community continues to experience antisemitism and houses of worship and HBCUs are under attack. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure our communities are both safe and welcoming to all who want to worship, learn, and be in community.
“At the same time, we are outraged that the Hyde Amendment and other abortion coverage bans were included once again — restricting low-income women’s access to critical abortion care. We also decry flat funding — yet again — for Title X family planning, the nation’s affordable birth control and reproductive health care program, at a moment when clinics providing free and subsidized birth control and reproductive care are needed more than ever.
“Every time the Hyde amendment is used to deny someone access to abortion is a tragedy. People most impacted by Hyde and other coverage bans are those who already face systemic barriers to care, particularly individuals with low incomes as well as Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. Everyone should be able to access the care they need. Ending the Hyde Amendment is a matter of reproductive justice, of economic justice, of racial justice. While Congress made some important steps toward funding critical services, its failure to invest in sexual and reproductive health priorities at time when abortion access is at risk is deeply troubling.
“In passing this omnibus bill to fund the government, Congress made some important steps toward funding critical services that will improve the lives of women, children, and families and keep our communities safe. Our work will continue, however, to ensure everyone has access to all the services and health care — including abortion — they need.”
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.