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Real State of the Union
Bush Proposals Continue to Starve Critical Health Care and Prevention Programs; Policies Fail to Protect the Health of Women, Men and Teens in the United States and Abroad
Washington, DC — President Bush's State of the Union Address this evening will preview his budget initiatives for the next fiscal year. What will not be reflected in tonight's address is the reality that the president's proposals will continue to result in cutbacks to vital health care services on which some of the most vulnerable Americans rely. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the nation's leading reproductive health care provider and advocate, issued the following statement from PPFA Interim President Karen Pearl:
"It is disingenuous at best when the president talks about giving more Americans access to needed health care services, while his administration continues to starve critical health care and prevention programs and promotes policies that put young people, women and families at risk.
"Just today, a deeply divided Senate confirmed President Bush's second ultraconservative nominee to the Supreme Court, moving the nation's highest court to the right, while delivering a crushing blow to protections for women's health and safety that Americans have relied on for more than 33 years. And on the heels of the Senate's actions, tomorrow the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a budget reconciliation bill backed by the president that will result in making it harder for poor Americans to get access to vital health care — like family planning — through Medicaid.
"If the president truly cared about women and families, he would not cut vital programs like Title X and Medicaid, which aim to improve family planning options and prevent unintended pregnancies. Despite the high-quality health care services Title X-supported health centers provide to millions of American families, the Title X program remains targeted by this administration and ultraconservatives in Congress for further cuts and elimination.
"While the president is setting forth these dangerous policies domestically, he is also working to export them abroad. He has proposed cutting $50 million from international family planning programs, reducing the role that the United States plays in promoting world health, while continuing to attack directly sexual and reproductive health and rights programs and to promote abstinence-only programs that undermine HIV prevention efforts around the world.
"Increasingly we are seeing draconian policies being implemented not only at the federal level, but also at the state level. More and more states are working to impose harsh restrictions on women's access to reproductive health care, including de-funding family planning, promoting dangerous abstinence-only programs, limiting access to contraception, including emergency contraception, and to abortion services, and attacking minors' access to reproductive health care."