WASHINGTON – Planned Parenthood Federation of America condemned today’s House Appropriations Committee passage of legislation that would decimate a decades-long national program that provides more than 4 million people with family planning services, including birth control, and block funding for a proven program to prevent teen pregnancy.
“Ignoring the advice of medical experts and the demands of the American people, Congressional Republicans once again put politics before people in passing a bill that would dramatically decrease access to basic health care,” said Dana Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “4.1 million people would lose services through this program as the threat of the Zika virus looms, a prospect that defies logic. Similarly, ending a highly effective program to prevent unplanned pregnancy and replacing it with more support for harmful and ineffective abstinence-only programs flies in the face of common sense. Republicans in Congress are once again abusing the Appropriations process to advance ideological policy riders that they know the American people oppose.”
Over objections from women’s health champions and medical experts, committee Republicans passed a Fiscal Year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill that restricts access to health care for women, men and young people. Even in the face of the growing public health threat of the Zika virus, the bill would eliminate funding for Title X, the nation’s highly effective and widely supported family planning program.
The nation’s family planning program, which is already woefully underfunded, provides essential services to 4.1 million people every year. Planned Parenthood health centers provide preventive health care to 1.5 million of those women, men and families – roughly a third of the people served by the program. Seventy-seven percent of voters support continuing the Title X family planning program.
The bill approved today would also end the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP). TPPP funds effective evidence-based programs for youth that have been proven to reduce sexual risk behaviors, thus contributing to reductions in unintended teen pregnancy. TPPP gives youth the knowledge and skills they need to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases and to develop healthy relationships.
Additionally, the bill would allow employers and health insurance companies to refuse to provide coverage of any health care service on the basis of religious or moral convictions and would place harmful limitations on access to abortion, even if medically necessary to save a woman’s life or health. Especially today, the anti-women’s health agenda of the House majority is clear as they also brought the so-called Conscience Protection Act to the floor last night, a similar bill that would discriminate against women and deny access to much needed health care.
“We are grateful to have women’s health champions like Representatives Nita Lowey, Rosa DeLauro, Barbara Lee, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” continued Singiser. “They have fought to restore funds for family planning and teen pregnancy prevention and to block harmful policy riders at every turn, and we will continue to work with them to advance common-sense measures to protect access to basic health care.”
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
July 14, 2016