Extreme Opponents of Women’s Health Throw Kitchen Sink at American Women
Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood strongly condemned the House Labor Health and Human Services appropriations bill that was released today and includes an unprecedented suite of attacks on women’s health, all of which very clearly put election year politics ahead of critical issues facing women and families.
Not only would the proposal prohibit Planned Parenthood from serving women in federal health programs, it would also eliminate the Title X federal family planning program that more than five million people a year rely on and it would allow employers to refuse to provide essential health benefits to their employees. Further, it tries to revive the failed attempt to effectively ban private health insurance coverage of abortion in the new health exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. These attacks would do nothing to create jobs and could even increase the federal deficit by eliminating cost-effective health programs.
“This budget proposal is badly out of touch with the needs of American women and families. Chairman Denny Rehberg and the House Republican leadership clearly don’t think that their constituents care about their access to health care. They could not be more wrong,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Eliminating vital preventive programs like the national family planning program and attacking women’s health providers will mean that millions of women would lose access to basic, preventive health services, and those are economic issues for millions of families.”
This proposed legislation would prevent Planned Parenthood from providing basic preventive health care services, such as lifesaving cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, Pap tests, and birth control. It would also completely eliminate the Title X Family Planning program, which ensures millions of low-income women can receive basic preventive health care. This bill goes even further, seeking to limit American women’s access to abortion and no-cost birth control and blocking implementation of the groundbreaking provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
“In these tough economic times, and with our federal deficit already exploding, it is appalling to see politicians completely disregard the challenges women and families face in accessing affordable health services,” said Richards. “As the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand that prevention saves lives and it saves money. Every dollar invested in federal family planning saves taxpayers and families nearly $4.”
The subcommittee’s proposal attacks women’s access to health care by
• prohibiting Planned Parenthood from participating in federal programs like Medicaid to provide preventive health care, including birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, annual exams, and STD testing and treatment
• eliminating funding for the Title X National Family Planning Program, which provides access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other family planning services to nearly five million low-income women each year
• blocking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including new benefits that include insurance coverage of women’s preventive services like lifesaving cancer screenings, and birth control, with no additional co-pays
• reviving the dangerous refusal provision that would allow any business or corporation to deny any essential health care service they object to, including coverage for birth control and cancer screenings, undermining access to preventive health care
• increasing funding for ineffective abstinence-only programs, which research has shown time and again is ineffective in preventing teen pregnancy
• reviving the failed attempt to effectively ban private health insurance coverage of abortion in the new health exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act
Nearly 800 Planned Parenthood health centers serve nearly three million patients every year, and one in five women in America relies on Planned Parenthood at some point in her life. More than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood health centers’ services are preventive, including cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing.
July 17, 2012
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
July 17, 2012