Today, President Obama released the 2016 budget. This document will change over the coming months, but this is his statement about how we should prioritize our funds. I am incredibly disappointed that he included language that denies health coverage for abortion for women who use Medicaid benefits and other federal health insurance programs (service members, federal employees, Peace Corps volunteers, Indian Health Services, women in detention). However you feel about abortion, politicians should not get to impose limits on someone’s insurance based on their personal beliefs or political calculations.
The President could have stood put his money where his mouth is. He could have stood behind his State of the Union statements about the right to make our own decisions and removed the language that withholds abortion coverage for federal health programs. I am thankful that he did provide for the District of Columbia to use their own health funds to include coverage for those using Medicaid benefits, but I feel like he missed out on a chance to truly lead by putting the needs of women on the list of priorities. I wrote about this in 2013….sadly, it is still all too true.