FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2016
Whitney Phillips, 303-359-8519
PLANNED PARENTHOOD STATEMENT OF AMENDMENT 69
Vicki Cowart, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
DENVER, CO- The following statement is attributable to Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains:
"Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) has been a reproductive health care provider for tens of thousands of Coloradans for 100 years. Our mission has always focused on providing all people with the reproductive health care they need. No matter what.
"Planned Parenthood proudly stands with women and their right to access safe and legal abortion. Abortion care is part of a woman’s health care, and as such should be included in all health care systems and coverage.
"Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has serious concerns about Amendment 69, and as a result is taking a position in opposition. PPRM, perhaps more than most organizations, knows that the ballot process is a risky tactic for implementing sweeping policy change. Things can unintentionally go wrong. We believe this would be the case here, and that Amendment 69 would further stigmatize and fragment abortion care in our health care system.
"While we recognize there is a strong argument for increased access to health insurance for all, the unintended consequence of Amendment 69 is that under the structure of a totally state-funded health care system, the only way women could obtain an abortion is if they paid out of pocket. There has been a constitutional prohibition on state funding of abortion since 1984, and this ballot amendment would not supersede that mandate. Because of that 1984 amendment many women with public coverage today, including state and municipal employees and Medicaid beneficiaries, are already without coverage that includes abortion care. Amendment 69, if passed, would add to that number. We need to be working to remove barriers like these, not expanding them.
"We applaud Senator Aguilar and the leaders of Amendment 69, and we thank them for starting this important conversation. We too believe we must respond to the rising costs of care and the barriers too many Coloradans continue to face. We have fought for, responded to, and continue to believe in the need for universal health care. However, we believe universal health care means access to ALL services Coloradans need, including safe and legal abortion."
Colorado Constitution Section 50, passed as Amendment 3 by voters in 1984, bans state public funding for abortion care. Amendment 69 would create a state-funded and managed health care system, in which it is likely Section 50 would apply. As a result, many more women who now have insurance in private health plans which may or may not cover abortion care would lose access to that care.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high-quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy. More than 123,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 29 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming. Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.
September 12, 2016