Washington, DC — As the 116th Congress is sworn in today and Rep. Nancy Pelosi regains the speakership of the U.S. House of Representatives, Planned Parenthood Federation of America released the following statement.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
Today, the 116th Congress is sworn in with a mandate from their constituents to protect and expand access to health care, including birth control, abortion, and the full range of reproductive health care. Women – particularly women of color – overwhelmingly rejected the Trump-Pence agenda in November, sending more women and women of color to Congress than ever before and flipping the House of Representatives to a clear pro-reproductive health majority. Planned Parenthood congratulates Speaker Pelosi on her historic second speakership and we look forward to working alongside her and other reproductive health champions as they drive forward a pro-women, pro-family agenda that benefits all people and recognizes health care as a human right.
Statement from Representatives Diana DeGette (CO-1) and Barbara Lee (CA-13):
It is clear that expanding affordable health care and protecting women’s reproductive health care and rights remain top priorities for the American public. Voters have sent a historic new class of representatives to Washington, including a record-breaking number of women and people of color. With Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, we are ready and eager to fight for every woman’s right to affordable, accessible and comprehensive reproductive health care and family planning.
Attacks on reproductive health care and rights were a driving issue for women in this election and fueled an increase in political activism. Since Trump was elected, one in five Americans engaged in protests or attended rallies, and according to polls women’s rights was the number one issue spurring them to action. Protecting health care was the top reason motivating voters to come out, electing pro-reproductive health champions to the House around the country.
In a huge victory for reproductive health and rights, the U.S. House of Representatives flipped to a pro-reproductive health majority following the 2018 midterm election. A record number of women were elected –– including the first Muslim women, the first two Native American women in the House, the first two Latina women to represent Texas to Congress, the first two Black women to represent New England in Congress, a record number of LGBTQ candidates elected into office, and more. This victory in the House was propelled by women, especially women of color. CNN exit polls showed House elections had a 20-point gender gap, with 73 percent of Latina women and 92 percent of Black women supporting Democratic candidates in House races.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.