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Elections & Politics

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Denounces Congressional Attacks on Women’s Health and Rights

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 04.10.14

WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood Action Fund today called on the House of Representatives to reject the budget proposed by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), which includes dramatic funding cuts that would hurt women and families struggling to make ends meet. The Ryan budget seeks to repeal the Affordable Care Act, rolling back historic benefits for women and their families, including no-copay preventive care like birth control. Meanwhile, Ryan’s colleagues are leading an effort to block federal funding for domestic and international family planning programs, and calling for measures to cut women off from Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services. These proposals come despite the two-year budget deal agreed to by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray during budget negotiations last year.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards denounced these efforts, calling on Congress to focus instead on policies and priorities that will move the country, and the economy, forward on women’s health and rights.

Statement from Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“The Ryan budget and efforts to block federal support for women’s access to birth control and family planning assistance at home and abroad through the annual spending process are the latest example of the House leadership’s misguided priorities. These cuts put a greater burden on working women and families, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.

“Despite a massive rejection of anti-women's health policies and a mountain of polling showing that Americans don’t want politicians interfering in personal health decisions, proposals put forward by Rep. Ryan’s allies in the House take aim at Planned Parenthood. Americans deserve to know what this means: it means that millions of women would not get the lifesaving breast cancer screenings, birth control and other preventive care that Planned Parenthood health centers provide every day.

“As the leading advocate for the one in five women who has visited a Planned Parenthood health center, we understand the real health and economic impact that these cuts would have on women and their families across the country. They are dangerous, they are wrong and they are out of touch.

“For these reasons and more, we strongly urge Congress to reject these efforts and focus instead on policies and priorities that will move our country and our economy forward — not backwards on women’s health and rights.”

BACKGROUND:

  • The Ryan budget sacrifices women’s access to health care by repealing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, including no-copay birth control and elimination of gender rating. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 40 million people (1 in 8) would become uninsured by 2024 under the Ryan plan, including the 7 million individuals who would lose insurance coverage they just recently obtained through the Marketplace.
  • The Ryan budget guts the Medicaid program as we know it, by turning Medicaid into a block grant with dramatically reduced funding. Block granting would result in turning back the progress of Medicaid expansion and effectively cutting off access to quality preventive and primary care for millions of individuals.
  • The Ryan budget undermines access to critical reproductive health care including no-copay birth control for millions of women, by slashing non-defense discretionary funding by $791 billion below sequestration over 10 years. Ryan's proposal would bring non-defense discretionary spending down to 1.7 percent of GDP in FY 2024. This could significantly reduce federal investment in the already underfunded Title X family planning program and other programs in women's health.
  • According to CQ Roll Call, House lawmakers fired off three letters to top appropriators last week urging them to include anti-women’s health riders in their fiscal 2015 spending bills. The letters ask the appropriators to block federal funding for Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services and the United Nations Population Fund, and also incorporate the text of legislation from Tennessee Republican Diane Black (HR 940) that includes language targeting the ACA’s birth control benefit, which requires insurance companies to cover birth control as part of preventive care, without a copay. For every dollar spent on family planning, nearly $6 in public money is saved, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

 

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.