House Equality Caucus Denounces GOP Attacks on D.C. Reproductive Health Protections

Apr 30, 2015
Press Release

1433 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

Date: April 30, 2015              Contact: Brett Morrow, (202) 225-2305

House Equality Caucus Denounces GOP Attacks on D.C. Reproductive Health Protections

Washington D.C. – The House Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus today denounced Republican efforts to undermine the District of Columbia’s law protecting women from discrimination on the basis of their private reproductive health decisions. The Equality Caucus urges Members to reject this abuse of congressional authority and avoid setting a precedent of interfering in D.C.’s non-discrimination policies.

Under current law, Congress maintains the capability to reject any legislation passed within the District of Columbia. With H. J. Res. 43, House Republicans are abusing that authority by attempting to block implementation of the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act. This law, which the D.C. Council approved in December, aims to ensure that those who work within the District’s borders are not discriminated against based on personal healthcare decisions, such as using in vitro fertilization, taking contraceptive measures, or seeking an abortion.

Congress should not attempt to interfere with the District of Columbia’s efforts to protect employees from workplace discrimination, which undermines workers’ ability to make their own healthcare decisions in consultation with their doctors and loved ones.

Certain Members of Congress have also proposed blocking another D.C. non-discrimination measure, the Human Rights Amendment Act, which is designed to protect LGBT students in the District of Columbia from discrimination by schools and universities. Again, Congress should not be subverting the will of D.C.’s elected officials for the sole purpose of enabling discrimination against LGBT students or any other group.

While our nation has taken significant leaps forward in extending basic fairness and protections under the law to LGBT Americans, we know we must remain vigilant against efforts to turn back the clock. If we have learned anything from the recent fights in Indiana and Arkansas, it is that we will undoubtedly see future attempts to enable discrimination under the guise of religious freedom. The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus will oppose every effort to do so and will continue to work to ensure that all Americans are protected from discrimination in all facets of life.