Contact: Benjamin Fritsch – o: 202-225-8050, c: 202-225-8143
April 29, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today blasted the House Republican leadership for sending to the Rule Committee, at the request of the House’s most conservative Members, a disapproval resolution to overturn the District of Columbia Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), which would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees, their spouses, and their dependents because of their private reproductive health decisions. Norton will testify against the disapproval resolution at today’s Rules Committee markup, scheduled for 3:00 p.m. in H-313. In her prepared testimony, Norton said, “For the first time ever, the House would affirmatively authorize employers, in this case, in the District of Columbia, to use religion to discriminate against employees for their private, constitutionally protected reproductive health decisions.” If RHNDA is overturned, employees in D.C. could be fired for having an abortion after being raped, for using condoms, or for buying birth control for their daughters. The Rule Committee is the final stage before a bill goes to the House floor for a final vote.
“Although their bill so grossly violates the privacy and the reproductive rights of employees in the District of Columbia that it should be inconceivable that they would bring it to the floor of the House of Representatives, House Republicans are set on continuing their war on women, especially the women of the District of Columbia,” Norton said. “The Republican leadership decision to send the disapproval resolution to the Rules Committee was made after a new House caucus, the House Freedom Caucus, the most extreme and conservative House caucus, demanded it. Not only does this disapproval resolution violate the private health decisions of employees in D.C., it violates the local democratic rights of 650,000 District residents by overturning a local law that matches our citizens’ local interests. I will vigorously defend the District’s local anti-discrimination bill from being trampled on at today’s Rules Committee hearing.”
Norton’s testimony, as prepared for delivery, follows: