Friday, May 8, 2009

President Obama Releases 2010 Budget Proposal

Create by: Jillian

President Obama released details of the first budget proposal of his presidency on Thursday. Right off the bat, the president recommends eliminating funding for abstinence-only programs! Woohoo...finally!

He also recommends increases for family-planning programs, including a provision that would allow Connecticut to expand the medicaid family planning services we are currently able to provide. There is also a recommended increase to overseas contraceptive services.

The President's budget proposal does a great deal to address prevention, including a new investment--$173 million for evidence based sex education programs to prevent teen pregnancy! This is very exciting, especially when state's are struggling to provide municipalities with funding and schools are feeling the burden of one too many unfunded mandates.

So what's not to like...well, although the President's budget does propose removing the ban on publicly funded abortions in Washington DC, his budget doesn't do anything to address the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment, first passed in 1976, bans federal funding for abortion in the Medicaid program except under extremely limited circumstances. For the millions of women who rely on medicaid and other federal programs for health services, the President's proposed budget has done them a great disservice.

Although I don't believe that women's reproductive health and choices should in any way be dictated by political rhetoric and policy, I do believe that President Obama understands the importance of working on issues incrementally and how divisive an issue abortion is.

Do you think the President should have proposed a budget that overturns the Hyde Amendment? Do you think he left it out on purpose and if so, is that ok?

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