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Elections & Politics

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Responds to Anti-Women’s Health Bills in the House and Senate Designed to Defund Planned Parenthood Health Centers

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

For Immediate Release: 01.25.13

“This legislation would limit women’s access to the wide range of preventive health care services that Planned Parenthood health centers provide, including cancer screenings, breast exams and birth control.” – Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards

WASHINGTON — Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, released the following statement in response to the newest string of anti-women’s health bills designed to defund Planned Parenthood health centers and limit women’s access to quality, affordable health care. The latest bill was introduced in the Senate by Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Tennessee Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black, joined by several colleagues, introduced similar bills earlier this month in the House.

“Despite a massive rejection of anti-woman’s health policies in November and recent polling showing that Americans don’t want politicians interfering in personal health decisions, Senator Vitter and his allies in the House continue to try to block women’s access to health care and defund Planned Parenthood.  

“This is part of a much larger and unrelenting attack on women’s access to reproductive health care. Sen. Vitter has introduced a bill to limit women’s access to the wide range of preventive health care services that Planned Parenthood health centers provide, including cervical cancer screenings, breast exams and birth control. One in five women in the U.S. has turned to Planned Parenthood for health care at some point in her life, and Americans recognize the crucial role that these preventive health care services play in keeping women healthy. Planned Parenthood is good for women’s health and good for the economy.”

Despite abortion being legal, constitutionally protected, and consistently supported by a majority of Americans, opponents of women’s health continue to work tirelessly to chip away at or ban access for women. Earlier this month, the Guttmacher Institute released a report showing that 43 provisions were passed in 19 states last year to restrict access to abortion — the second-highest number of such measures passed in a single year (behind only 2011). 

In a Pew Research Center poll released last week, more than six in ten (63 percent) respondents said they would not like to see the court completely overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released this week found that a majority of Americans (70 percent) oppose efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.

BACKGROUND

  • Nearly three million patients come to Planned Parenthood health centers every year — not to make a political statement but to get high-quality, affordable health care.
  • One in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once in her life.
  • More than 90 percent of the services Planned Parenthood health centers provide are preventive (cancer screenings, STD tests, birth control etc.).
  • Federal funds cannot fund abortion services at Planned Parenthood health centers except in rare cases of rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is at risk.
  • Millions of Americans stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act. In August, the birth control benefit went into effect, making birth control available without co-pays or deductibles. On average, women spend up to $600 a year on birth control.
  • According to a survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, seven out of 10 Americans believe that health insurance companies should cover the full cost of birth control, as required by the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control benefit.
  • Research finds that availability of the pill is responsible for a third of women’s wage increases relative to men. By the 1980s and ’90s, the women who had early access to the pill were making eight percent more each year than those who did not.
  • A Contraceptive CHOICE Study found that access to no co-pay birth control — as is outlined in the Affordable Care Act — can lead to significantly lowered abortion rates. Specifically, the researchers estimate that national simulation of the CHOICE project could prevent 41-71 percent of abortions performed annually in the U.S.

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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.