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Advocates send letter to House and Senate leadership opposing attempts to cut patients off from access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, thirty of the nation’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) organizations signed a letter to Congress urging them to drop attempts to deny millions of patients access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers. The letter was sent to majority and minority leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives.  

Emphasizing the unique health care needs and challenges facing LGBTQ people seeking care and the importance of Planned Parenthood to LGBTQ health, the letter states, “[W]e strongly oppose the intent of Congressional leadership to bar Medicaid patients across the country from using their coverage to access care from Planned Parenthood health centers — through budget reconciliation or by any other means. If these actions were to succeed, it would be a public health disaster.”

In recognizing Planned Parenthood’s commitment to providing high-quality health care to all regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, the signers write, “Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health clinics are at the forefront of providing safe, welcoming spaces for LGBT people to receive critical health care services, when others in the health care system have been less welcoming.”

Two articles published just this month highlight the critical role of Planned Parenthood health centers in providing care to transgender patients across the country:

  • The Guardian: How defunding Planned Parenthood could wipe out transgender healthcare
    • “They are one of the most important providers of trans healthcare in the country,” said Harper Jean Tobin, the director of policy for the National Center for Transgender Equality, adding that their clinics are some of the few transgender healthcare providers located outside major cities. “Many of their clinics are the only places for miles around that trans people can go to for hormone therapy, HIV tests, and pap smears, and not face discrimination.”
    • “If I didn’t have them available to me, I’m not sure what I would do,” said Maurer, who is trans. “It would be a crisis. And I’m saying this as a person whose job it is to help others navigate healthcare systems.”
    • Read the full story at The Guardian here.
       
  • Fusion: Talking to Planned Parenthood about the huge steps they’ve taken to help trans people
    • It’s been three months since Planned Parenthood New York City began offering hormone therapy for trans patients at its Brooklyn site [...] “We’ve had a really great reception. The first day all the slots that we had were filled.”
    • Read the full story at Fusion here.

The letter to Congress is signed by thirty leading advocates of LGBTQ health and rights, including Advocates for Youth, GLSEN, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund and The Trevor Project, among others. 

It closes with, “We, the undersigned organizations committed to the health and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, urge Congress not to block patients from accessing critical, federally supported sexual and reproductive health care and information from Planned Parenthood.”

NCLR’s press release and the full text of the letter can be found here.

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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 over 650 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.

Source

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Contact

Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433

Published

March 10, 2017