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Statement of Administration Policy: H.J. Res. 43 – Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014

April 30, 2015


STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House)

(Rep. Black (R-TN) and 46 co-sponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.J. Res. 43, which would overturn the District of Columbia's Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 (the Act). The Act added reproductive health decisions to the list of employment non-discrimination protections included under the basis of sex, which had previously included pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, and breastfeeding. By taking away this newly-added protection, H.J. Res. 43 would undermine the reproductive freedom and private health care decisions of the citizens of the District of Columbia. This legislation would give employers cover to fire employees for the personal decisions they make about birth control and their reproductive health. These personal decisions should not jeopardize anyone's job or terms of employment.

The Act preserves the current exception in the District's Human Rights Law for religious entities and does not impose additional requirements on employers, contrary to their personal beliefs, to provide insurance coverage related to reproductive health decisions.

H.J. Res 43 would also have the unacceptable effect of undermining the will of District of Columbia citizens. While the Home Rule Act of 1973 created a procedure for the Congress to overturn laws passed by the District of Columbia, the Congress has not exercised this authority in over two decades and should refrain from doing so in this circumstance, as well. The Administration urges the Congress to adopt the President's FY 2016 Budget proposal allowing the District to enact local laws and spend local funds in the same way as other cities and States. If the President were presented with H.J. Res. 43, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this resolution.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.J. Res. 43 – Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/310844