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Planned Parenthood Statement on Senate Appropriations Committee Markups
Urges Full Senate to Forego Cuts to Family Planning, Applauds Senate Appropriations Committee for Rejecting Harmful Abortion Ban
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate, today urged Congress to increase funding for the Title X National Family Planning Program, which provides cancer screenings and other preventive care to nearly five million women a year, and applauded lawmakers for passing the Financial Services and General Government spending bill without a harmful abortion rider.
“In these challenging economic times, more women need expanded access to lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive care,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “As women and families struggle to pay their bills, now is not the time to cut off the health care that millions rely on all across the country.”
Planned Parenthood praised the Senate Appropriations Committee for rejecting a harmful policy rider that would have restricted the District of Columbia from using its own local funds to pay for medically necessary abortion services for low-income women. Planned Parenthood remains in steadfast opposition to similar efforts in the House.
“These policy riders would undermine and restrict access to reproductive health care for women in the District of Columbia,” said Richards. “This would have been a significant step backward, and we call on members of the House to reject similar efforts. We are grateful to Senator Dick Durbin and the White House for blocking these efforts.”
Planned Parenthood expressed disappointment that the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies 2013 spending bill funds the Title X family planning program at $2.9 million below the Administration’s request. As a result, some women could lose access to basic preventive health care like birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and breast health services.
However, the health spending package does include good news for women’s health care, Planned Parenthood said. The Senate rejected new funding for ineffective abstinence-only programs, and the Senate expanded funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB prevention.
The House of Representatives is expected to introduce its version of the spending bill relatively soon. Unfortunately, some members of the House have indicated that they will make drastic cuts to women’s health care, going even further than they went in last year’s budget.
Last year, some House members attempted to eliminate the Title X family planning program entirely and successfully pushed for reckless cuts to this critical program, dropping funding from $299 million to $291.4 million. More than 17 million women are in need of publicly funded family planning, according to the independent and non-partisan Guttmacher Institute. These funding cuts jeopardize their access to the nation’s most effective programs for reducing unintended pregnancies and protecting women’s health.