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Bill is Critical to Improving Immigrant Communities’ Access to Health Care

WASHINGTON — Today, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Rep. Debra Haaland (NM-01) and other reproductive health champions reintroduced the Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act of 2019, which removes political interference so immigrants are able to fully participate in federal health care programs.

Statement from Jacqueline Ayers, Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Everyone deserves access to health care, regardless of their immigration status. We applaud Rep. Jayapal and Rep. Haaland for their leadership on a bill that works to remove barriers that prevent immigrant women and their families from accessing the care they need. As the Trump administration continues to attack immigrant communities, the HEAL Act is critical legislation, and Planned Parenthood calls on Congress to protect immigrant access to health care — no matter what.”

The Trump administration has continued to attack immigrant communities, most recently releasing a public charge rule designed to keep families separated and to dissuade immigrants from accessing health care and meeting other basic needs. Under this rule, people could be denied visas, green cards, and entry into the U.S. simply because they have received any one of a broad range of public benefits in the past, including health care, nutrition assistance, and public housing. Due to the many barriers in accessing basic health care and information, immigrants face challenging and life-endangering health care disparities — and that’s why three different judges blocked it. Many women in immigrant communities are more likely to die from breast and cervical cancers, and some immigrant groups have higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections than other groups in the U.S. — all of which could be screened for, and in some cases prevented, with equal access to care.  

Planned Parenthood is committed to ensuring that all individuals, regardless of citizenship, have access to quality care, including reproductive 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 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.