Calls on Congress to focus on legislation that would advance health and equity for women
Planned Parenthood said the bill is the latest in a string of measures that would restrict women’s health and rights, instead of advancing health care and equity. This troubling agenda most recently includes the House rolling back the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), an attempt by Senate Republicans to erode women’s access to birth control and other preventive health services, and threats in the Senate to block the Paycheck Fairness Act next week.
“As the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood knows all too well that women still face gender discrimination in this country,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We oppose sex selection abortion. But this bill does nothing to advance protections against discrimination and instead will have the result of further shaming and stigmatizing women. ”
The bill’s sponsor, Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), has a long history of opposing safe and legal abortion. The aim of his legislation is ultimately to limit a woman’s access to the full spectrum of reproductive health options, in addition to criminalizing doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.
The bill also fails to address the real causes of inequality and health disparities and in fact takes aim at the very communities it claims to help. Racism and gender discrimination are serious issues, yet this bill would cast suspicion on doctors that serve communities facing the greatest health disparities, many of which are minority communities.
“Planned Parenthood strongly condemns any coercive reproductive policies,” said Richards. “This legislation will impose harmful restrictions on a woman’s access to care and limit her choices as she makes personal medical decisions. Furthermore, it would intrude on the critical nature of the doctor/patient relationship and interfere with a doctor’s ability to provide nonjudgmental, high-quality care for women.
“In these tough economic times, Congress should be focusing its efforts on solutions that improve the lives of women and their families, not imposing increased restrictions on women’s rights.”
May 30, 2012
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 212-261-4433
May 30, 2012