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Planned Parenthood Says Bipartisan Immigration Bill Is an Important First Step
Calls for Additional Efforts to Expand Access to Health Care
WASHINGTON—Planned Parenthood Federation of America released the following statement on the bipartisan immigration bill put forward today by the Senate’s “Gang of 8.” Planned Parenthood Federation of America is a member of the Alliance for Citizenship, a coalition representing a wide swath of organizations fighting for citizenship for 11 million immigrants and full and equal rights and fairness for all workers.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The immigration reform bill introduced today is an important first step toward creating a long-overdue path to citizenship. We support the efforts that Congress is undertaking to reform our immigration system, and applaud this important show of bipartisan compromise.
“Planned Parenthood is committed to ensuring that all individuals have access to quality preventive health care. We are disappointed that this proposed legislation does not expand healthcare access to immigrants on the path to citizenship. As the nation’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate, we at Planned Parenthood understand the impact that barriers to health care can have on women and their families. The impact of these disparities is particularly devastating in immigrant communities. With lack of insurance and high out-of-pocket costs cited as major factors limiting immigrant women’s access to preventive health care, it is important that we work to ensure health care access for all.”
• Immigrant women face a number of barriers to health care access, and as a result, are less likely to access preventive health care, such as Pap tests, STD screenings, and birth control than U.S. women.
• Lack of access to health care, including preventive health care, contributes to poorer health outcomes. For example, Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant women have high rates of cervical cancer, and more than half of all pregnancies among Latina women are unintended.
• Lack of health insurance and high out-of-pocket costs are cited as major factors limiting immigrant women’s access to preventive health care, including reproductive health.
• Low-income immigrant women have especially high rates of uninsurance. Sixty percent of low-income, non-citizen immigrant women of reproductive age lack health insurance, which is nearly twice the proportion of low-income, U.S.-born women.
• Most Americans believe that immigrants on the pathway to citizenship should be able to access Medicaid (63 percent) and subsidies to affordably buy insurance on the exchanges (59 percent).