Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington have officially endorsed statehood for the District of Columbia, adding important energy as momentum builds for D.C. statehood.
“In the past few months, we’ve built unheard of support for D.C. statehood in Congress and across the nation,” Norton said. “We thank Planned Parenthood for recognizing the grave injustice of more than 700,000 taxpaying American citizens being deprived an equal voice in their government and self-government. This nation was founded on the rallying cry of No Taxation Without Representation, yet District residents have lived without a voice, despite paying more in federal income taxes per capita than any other jurisdiction and fighting alongside their fellow Americans in every U.S. war. Today’s Planned Parenthood endorsement is yet another indication that it is only a matter of time now – the District of Columbia will become the 51st state.”
“We cannot expand access to sexual and reproductive health care without fundamental reforms that return power to the people,” said Jacqueline Ayers, Vice President for Government Relations & Public Policy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Nowhere is that more clear than in our nation’s capital, where nearly 700,000 people are denied a voice in the government that makes decisions about their health and rights. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has been steadfast leader in her efforts to give a voice to her constituents, and we at Planned Parenthood applaud this bill to bring Washington, D.C. into statehood.”
“Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC is proud to stand alongside those in Congress who are fighting for statehood on behalf of all of the District’s residents,” said Dr. Laura Meyers, President of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC. “There is no question that Washingtonians deserve the same rights, freedoms, and representation as every American. Not only are the people of Washington, DC entitled to voting representation in Congress, they’re also entitled to self-governance without fear of being unilaterally overruled by Congress. The Washington, D.C. Admission Act is essential to protecting these inherent rights.”
Just five months into the new Congress, Norton has built historic support for her D.C. statehood bill. In March, the House passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which contained extensive findings supporting D.C. statehood and marked the first time in American history either chamber of Congress has endorsed D.C. statehood; Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) strongly endorsed D.C. statehood upon introduction of Norton’s D.C. statehood bill, H.R. 51; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) unveiled a sweeping proposal to combat voter disenfranchisement, including restoring the Voting Rights Act, establishing national, automatic voter registration laws, and supporting D.C. statehood; and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced that the committee will hold a hearing and markup on the statehood bill this year, the first House hearing or markup on a D.C. statehood bill since 1993. Norton’s bill also has a record number of cosponsors in the House (204) and Senate (32). The Senate version of the D.C. statehood bill was introduced by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE).