Today champions of women’s health in the U.S. House and Senate introduced resolutions condemning violence against reproductive health care providers. These resolutions come in the wake of the tragic shooting in Colorado Springs, CO, over Thanksgiving weekend.
The members of Congress who introduced and signed onto this resolution are boldly standing up for the idea that no woman, man or young person should fear violence just for accessing or providing health care. To them we say THANK YOU for standing in solidarity with the millions of men, women and young people who seek access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
“What happened in Colorado Springs was an unthinkable tragedy, but we are grateful for the leadership of Senators Blumenthal, Shaheen and Bennet, as well as Reps. DeGette and Slaughter, and for such a strong condemnation of attacks against reproductive health care providers.
“We are also grateful for over 100 co-sponsors who stand in solidarity with the millions of men, women and young people who seek access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers.”
—Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Taking a Stand Against Violence and Hateful Rhetoric
Two things you need to know to understand these resolutions: Acts of violence should be unacceptable to all of us. And words matter.
The House and Senate resolutions are a call to value compassion over divisive rhetoric, and put aside politics for the sake of the well being and health of millions. Dangerous words have created a dangerous environment where unspeakable violence has occurred. But it doesn’t change the fact that everyone deserves access to quality reproductive health care, no matter what.
Planned Parenthood health centers will continue to deliver high-quality, compassionate care to the millions of patients that come through their doors every year. What’s more, Planned Parenthood will work to ensure their patients get care free from the threat of violence, fear or intimidation. Now we look to ALL members of Congress to help ensure the same.
More About the Resolutions
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) lead the effort with 35 of their Senate colleagues, and U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette (D-Colo-1) and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.-25) with over 150 of their House colleagues.
Full text of S.327 (which is the same text as the House version):
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.