FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Planned Parenthood Arizona released the following statement today after the House passed and the Senate rejected H. Con. Res. 36, a proposal that would bar Planned Parenthood from providing preventive health services including birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment, and HIV testing to patients who are covered by Medicaid and other federal programs.
PHOENIX -- Today, the US Senate listened to millions of American women and voted, 58 - 42, to reject H. Con. Res. 36, an extreme proposal to bar Planned Parenthood from providing preventive health services, including birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and STI (including HIV) testing, to patients who are covered by AHCCCS and other federal programs.
Planned Parenthood applauds the members of Congress who stood up for women’s health and voted against the proposal, but the organization is disappointed by Arizona’s own Senators Kyl and McCain who voted in favor of the proposal.
“This vote is a major victory for women’s health and the millions of women who go to Planned Parenthood for health care,” says Bryan Howard, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Arizona.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including thousands of Arizonans, made their voices heard in support of Planned Parenthood and opposed this radical proposal by calling Congress, writing and e-mailing their elected officials, and attending rallies. The grassroots support for Planned Parenthood was widespread and deep.
“This extreme proposal was rightly rejected by Democrats and Republicans. In addition, members of Congress who support abortion rights, as well as those who oppose abortion rights, voted against this proposal, which would have denied women family planning and would have resulted in an increase in unintended pregnancy,” says Howard.
Even though the House Republican leadership insisted on forcing an up or down vote in the House and Senate on this extreme proposal today, all their political maneuvering accomplished was to show that the House leadership is willing to sacrifice women’s health to advance a narrow ideological agenda. Included in those who voted for the proposal to ban Planned Parenthood from participating in any federally funded program were Arizona Representatives Jeff Flake, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Ben Quayle and David Schweikert.
“Any member of Congress who voted for this extreme proposal just cast a vote against women’s access to lifesaving cancer screenings and birth control,” says Howard. “We applaud Representatives Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor for voting down this proposal.”
More than 90 percent of the health care Planned Parenthood provides — and 100 percent of the care it provides through federal programs — is preventive. Planned Parenthood does not want one woman to be diagnosed with advanced cancer that our health centers could have detected early through screening, and the organization is appalled that a fringe element of Congress would continue to put its narrow political agenda ahead of women’s health and safety.
“Thankfully, the Senate has made it clear that this extreme proposal is unacceptable and rejected it,” says Howard.
In the community for 76 years, Planned Parenthood Arizona is the leading sexual health organization in Arizona. The organization provides health care, education and outreach services to more than 75,000 men, women, teens and parents annually. Planned Parenthood Arizona operates health center locations statewide in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott and Yuma. For more information, please visit www.ppaz.org.