Congressional staffers participating in a panel sponsored by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) discussed upcoming anti-abortion and anti-family planning legislation in the U.S. House and Senate. This year, abortion rights are under legislative attack by the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which seeks to elevate the status of the fetus over that of the women, the Child Custody Protection Act, which would severely limit minors from obtaining abortions, and riders to appropriations bills that would undercut funding for abortion and family planning. Panel participants also focused on anti-abortion judicial nominations to the Supreme Court and the federal Courts of Appeals and creating a pro-active abortion rights legislative agenda.
During 2002, pro-choice members of the House and Senate will consider measures to protect access to abortion and family planning services. Among these are the Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act, which would ensure than any health insurance plan that includes prescription drug coverage include contraceptives, the Family Life Education Act, which would guarantee comprehensive sexuality education in public schools, and impending bills to increase Title X family planning funds for women of color and low-income women.