Action Comes As CMS Confirms Blocking Patients from Care at Planned Parenthood Health Centers Violates Federal Law
Jackson, MS - Yesterday, Governor Bryant signed a bill that prevents women, men and young people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood through Medicaid. The action comes weeks after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to lawmakers in all fifty states, once again making it clear that recent politically motivated efforts to block Planned Parenthood patients from accessing care through Medicaid violates long-standing federal law.
Since July, politicians in at least 24 states have taken action to end care at Planned Parenthood health centers. This unprecedented wave of attacks could have devastating consequences for women, men and young people across the country in decreasing access to basic health care, and increasing the rate of STI infections and unplanned pregnancies. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if patients who rely on public health programs are blocked from coming to Planned Parenthood, up to 650,000 people would face decreased access to health care in just a one-year period.
Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“This is the latest politically motivated action to cut off access to lifesaving care as a part of a broader political agenda to ban abortion. No politician should tell Mississippians where they can or cannot go for care. We’ve reached a turning point for women’s health in this country, putting the basic health care that more than half a million Americans rely on at risk. If that happens, we are looking at huge swaths of this country where women will be unable to access birth control, cancer screenings, and other care.”
Statement from Staci Fox, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood SouthEast:
“This is a purely political move at the cost of Mississippians’ access to basic health care like cancer screenings, birth control and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. While legislators play politics with women’s health, Mississippi women and families who depend on our services could lose access to Planned Parenthood, a trusted health care provider with a nearly 100-year commitment to reproductive health.”
Blocking this care has real and disastrous consequences for all recipients, and often has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care.
We have seen the very real consequences for our patients in states that block access to care. In Wisconsin and Texas, researchers found that fewer women could access lifesaving cancer screenings following the closure of Planned Parenthood health centers. After Scott County, Indiana, forced the local Planned Parenthood health center to shut its doors in 2013, the community was left with nowhere to turn for HIV testing and education as. Now the county is facing an unprecedented HIV outbreak, which Governor Mike Pence deemed an “epidemic.” In Texas, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that defunding Planned Parenthood led to a 35% decline in women on Medicaid using the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27% spike in births among women who had previously had access to injectable contraception.
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.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
May 11, 2016