Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Regarding Budget Deal
April 09, 2011
“American women made their voices heard today, and Washington, DC, listened. A handful of members of Congress tried to use the debate over our nation’s deficit to pursue an extreme agenda that would cut millions of women off from Pap tests, breast exams and birth control — without reducing the deficit.
“It was an outrageous proposal, and it was rightly rejected today. Planned Parenthood applauds the members of Congress who stood up for women’s health and the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lent their voices to stop this extreme proposal.
“The rejection of this proposal in the final budget deal is a victory for women’s health.
“However, we are deeply disappointed that the final budget deal includes a policy rider restricting the District of Columbia’s right to make its own decisions regarding how to spend local money just as the 50 states are allowed to do.
“This provision prohibits the District of Columbia from deciding whether to use locally raised revenue to help low-income women access medically necessary abortions. The District is already prohibited from spending federal dollars on abortion.
“It’s clear that the fight for women’s health will continue, and we will continue to work on behalf of the millions of American women who count on this critical care.”
BACKGROUND: More than 90 percent of the health care Planned Parenthood provides is preventive.
Every year, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide
-nearly one million screenings for cervical cancer
-830,000 breast exams
-affordable birth control to nearly 2.5 million patients
-nearly four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV testing
Read fact sheet on Planned Parenthood health services here:
FACTS on RIDER on DC ABORTION BAN
Current Law Allows DC to Use Local Funds, not Federal Funds, to Provide Abortions. In 2009, Congress removed the unfair prohibition restricting DC from deciding whether to use its own locally raised revenue to help low-income women access medically necessary abortion services. This allowed DC to be treated just like every other state in making their own decision on how to use local funds.
No Federal Tax Dollars Would Be Used to Fund Abortion Services. Despite misleading rhetoric from those who oppose abortion rights, the law is very clear. No federal tax dollars can be used by the District of Columbia to help low-income women access medically necessary abortion services.
Current law maintains the ban on the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortion services.
(SEC. 815.) None of the Federal funds appropriated under this Act shall be expended for any abortion except when the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or when the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.
Seventeen Other States Use Local Funds to Provide Abortions. DC joins 17 other states who use state and local funding to pay for medically necessary abortion care for women who otherwise can’t afford it. Those states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.
The District of Columbia and Its Taxpayers Should Be Treated Fairly. The District of Columbia should have the same ability to control its own tax dollars as the 50 states, including having the option to provide support to low-income women with its local tax dollars. The District’s local general funds are only unique because the District’s spending, unlike the 50 states, is subject to Congressional oversight. They are, however, local taxes paid by DC residents and not by taxpayers in any of the 50 states.
The Health and Lives of Women in the District of Columbia Are Protected. Congress should respect the health of DC residents and continue to allow DC to use its own funds to pay for medically necessary abortion services for low-income women if it so chooses.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
April 09, 2011