Washington, DC -- Planned Parenthood Federation of America today condemned discriminatory language in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would permit taxpayer-funded discrimination. The language allows religiously affiliated organizations receiving taxpayer dollars to fire or to refuse to hire someone who doesn’t conform to the personal religious beliefs of their employer.
The legislation is so expansive it could allow federally funded employment discrimination, for example, in instances where someone doesn’t regularly attend religious services, is pregnant and unmarried, is in a same-sex marriage, undergoes a gender transition, or even uses birth control, among others.
This provision brings to the federal level the attacks we have seen on LGBT individuals, women, and families in the states, cloaked in the guise of religious freedom. Additionally, the language undermines President Obama’s executive order prohibiting discrimination in federal contracting based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill is expected to be conferenced with the Senate version of the FY ‘17 NDAA, which does not currently contain this discriminatory language.
Statement from Dana Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“It’s downright shameful that in 2016 extreme politicians are trying to create laws to bully and discriminate against LGBT individuals, women who seek health care, or those who simply do not conform to another group’s beliefs. Planned Parenthood thanks the bipartisan group of leaders who sought to fix this harmful language and strongly urges the House and Senate to reject this blatantly discriminatory provision when the bill goes to conference.”
The anti-LGBT, anti-woman provision passed out of the House Armed Services Committee in a late-night vote last month. A bipartisan amendment to remove the language, led by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Scott Peters (D-CA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Rick Larsen (D-WA), was denied a vote on the House floor by the Republican House Rules Committee.
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 19, 2016