March 26, 2020
Contact: Nikki Metzgar
(202) 599-7642 /

Washington, D.C. — On Wednesday, the Senate passed its latest COVID-19 stimulus package. While it manages to provide resources and assistance to many working families and medical services, it falls short for immigrant women by failing to ensure health coverage and care for all families and attacking abortion access for low-income pregnant people by expanding the reach of the Hyde Amendment. 

Infectious disease outbreaks have a long history of affecting society’s most vulnerable. Immigrants who lack access to health coverage and care, nutritious food, and safe, affordable housing fall squarely into that category. NAPAWF calls on Congress to ensure that any future legislation includes provisions ensuring coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment for immigrants of all statuses and condemns Senator McConnell’s exploitation of this national emergency to make it more difficult for people to access essential and time-sensitive abortion care.

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“It should be obvious to everyone by now we can’t protect our country by denying entire communities access to testing, treatment, or care. Leaving immigrant families out in the cold to fend for themselves is not only inhumane, it’s stupid. Viruses do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. Every person should be able to get affordable health care no matter how long they have been in the U.S. or the status they have been granted, especially now.

The reality is that we don’t stop needing access to abortion because there’s a national emergency but we will be seeking care at a time when we’re afraid to leave our homes, we might have lost their jobs, or money is tight. The 11th-hour inclusion of abortion coverage restrictions only makes life harder for the most vulnerable, including immigrant women, who certain politicians are too ready to leave out in the cold when they need help the most.” 

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.