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CT Senator Richard Blumenthal Condemns Violence Against Women’s Health Providers And Patients: Attack at Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood and recent increase in violent attacks and threats against women’s health care centers follow growing use of extreme rhetoric demonizing women’s health.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) recently announced resolutions they have introduced in the Senate and House, respectively, to condemn violence against women’s health providers and patients across the United States following the horrific attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood that left three dead and nine wounded. A total of 38 Senators and 94 Representatives co-sponsored the resolutions.

The resolutions recognize that violence, intimidation, and threats against women’s health care providers and their patients has persisted for decades, with an increase in incidents of arson, vandalism, and threats over the past six months, further recognizing the serious impact that demonizing, extreme rhetoric has on creating a climate that is dangerous for those who would provide or seek access to comprehensive health care services. The members reiterated a woman’s constitutional right to make her own health care decisions and have access to health care services without fear of violence or harassment.‎ 

“This measure recognizes the deeply insidious, perpetual threats and violence against providers of life-saving health care services to millions of women across the country,” said Senator Blumenthal. “I am proud to lead this resolution with my colleagues to condemn unacceptable intimidation and attacks that interfere with a woman’s right to safe health care. This resolution stands against the recent extremist, repugnant rhetoric that seeks to demonize the providers and their essential services to American women.”

The full text of the resolution is below:

Resolution Condemning Violence Targeting Women’s Health

Condemning violence against women’s health care providers and patients accessing such health care

Whereas, the constitutional right to make health care decisions about their own bodies has been an established right for over 43 years;

Whereas Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972) confirmed the constitutional right of all women to legally access birth control;

Whereas Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), was decided 42 years ago and reaffirmed that women have a constitutional right to comprehensive reproductive health care;

Whereas for decades, women’s health care providers and people accessing the services they provide have been subjected to intimidation, threats, and violence;

Whereas since 1993, there have been eleven murders and numerous attempted murders of individuals associated with care provided at women’s health centers;

Whereas nearly 7,000 violent acts have been reported against providers  at women’s health centers since 1977, including bombings, arsons, death threats, kidnappings, and assaults, as well as more than 190,000 reported acts of disruption, including bomb threats and harassing calls;

Whereas, within the past six months, there have been an increase in arsons, vandalisms and threats at Planned Parenthood and other women’s health centers, including in Aurora, Illinois; Pullman; Washington; Louisville, Kentucky; and Claremont, New Hampshire; and on November 27, 2015, three people were killed and nine people were injured when a gunman attacked a Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs, Colorado;

Whereas, demonizing, extreme rhetoric contributes to a climate that is dangerous for those who would provide or access comprehensive health care services;

Whereas more than 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s patients are people of color, who are therefore disproportionately impacted by attacks on women’s health centers; and

Whereas one in five women will use Planned Parenthood for health care, which in 2013, provided over 1.4 million emergency contraception kits, nearly 4.5 million tests and treatment for sexually transmitted infection and nearly 900.000 cervical cancer screenings and breast exams and continues to be the nation’s leading reproductive health care provider and, along with many other reproductive health providers, continues to provide expert, quality reproductive health care in safe and supportive environments across the country.

Be it resolved, that the United States Senate:

1. Denounces the attacks on women’s health care centers, providers, and patients;

2. Affirms that all women have the right to access reproductive health care services without fear of violence, intimidation, or harassment.