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Planned Parenthood: Anti-Choice Members in the House Continue Assault on Women’s Health

Revives Failed Efforts to Bar Planned Parenthood from Participating in Federal Health Programs and Eliminates Funding for the Title X Family Planning Program

Published: 09.29.11| Updated: 09.30.11

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains today roundly criticized anti-choice leaders in the House of Representatives for releasing a FY 2012 Labor Health and Human Services appropriations package that puts politics over women’s health by reviving unprecedented proposals to take away preventive care from women, which were rightly rejected by the Senate only months ago.
 
“This budget not only guts effective programs that keep women and families healthy, it will make women and families worse off economically, at a time when they are already struggling,” said Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
 
Planned Parenthood is a trusted nonprofit health care provider that provides professional, reliable and quality health care, including birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, annual exams, and STD testing and treatment to three million women and men across the country.  One in five American women has been to a Planned Parenthood health center at some point in her life.  In addition, six in 10 women who receive care from a women’s health center like those operated by Planned Parenthood consider it to be their main source of health care.
 
“At a time when Americans desperately want and need Congress to focus on fixing our economy and creating jobs, anti-choice House leaders are instead continuing their campaign to take away preventive health care and affordable birth control from millions of women,” said Cowart.
 
The House Labor HHS proposal would prohibit Planned Parenthood from providing primary and preventive care through public health programs; eliminate funding for the Title X National Family Planning program; and effectively prohibit insurance coverage of abortion in the new health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. 
 
“This budget is further evidence that anti-choice House leaders have no new ideas and are merely recycling failed attacks that undermine women’s health,” said Cowart.  “Eliminating funding for the Title X family planning program and prohibiting Planned Parenthood from providing preventive health care through federal programs will result in millions of women across the country losing access to basic primary and preventive health care, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, annual exams, and STD testing and treatment.”

The House budget includes the following provisions aimed at preventing women’s access to health care.  It:

  • revives the failed attempt to prohibit Planned Parenthood from participating in federal programs like Medicaid to provide preventive health care, including birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, annual exams, and STD testing and treatment; 
  • eliminates funding for the Title X National Family Planning Program, which provides access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other family planning services to five million low-income women each year;
  • revives the failed attempt to effectively ban insurance coverage of abortion in the new health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act — taking away a common health benefit that most private health plans currently offer;
  • prevents the implementation of the groundbreaking health care reform law, including new benefits that include insurance coverage of women’s preventive services like mammograms, cancer screenings, and birth control, with no additional co-pays;
  • cuts the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative by $64.79 million — from $ 104.79 million to $40 million — and stipulates that $20 million of that money must be used for grants to provide ineffective, abstinence-only education;
  • includes a sweeping new refusal provision that undermines patients’ access to quality health care.

Anti-choice House leaders this year have repeatedly tried to strip Planned Parenthood affiliates of federal funding used for family planning and other services and more disturbingly, women’s access to the primary and preventive care they need.  It is not coincidental that this week the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations launched a baseless investigation into the operations of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates.  While PPFA is extremely disappointed to again be a political target, PPFA has already contacted the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and is responding to the request in a timely manner.  We are confident that any fair-minded person will see through this politically motivated investigation, the purpose of which appears to be undermining access to care.

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Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy.  More than 123,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 28 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming.  Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care.  For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.

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