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SEATTLE – Less than a week after Republican Congressional Leadership faced a stunning rebuke on their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and block access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide, anti-women’s health politicians have found a new angle. This morning, Vice President Mike Pence, in a highly unusual procedural move, cast the deciding vote to send an anti-women’s health bill to the Senate floor. If the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law, it would overturn a rule that protects health care for more than 4 million people who rely on Title X, the nation’s family planning program.

 Statement from Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii:

 “They are back at it. Congressional Republicans are on a crusade to restrict access to reproductive health care. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to repeal the Obama administration rule that protects Title X family planning funding for Planned Parenthood at the state level. People are sick and tired of politicians making it even harder for them to access health care, and they will not stand for it. Four million people depend on the Title X family planning program, and this move by extremist politicians would endanger their health care. 

 If this repeal is passed by the Senate, millions of people will lose access to birth control to plan their pregnancies and their future. We want to thank Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine for their votes to protect access to care. We are calling on the Senate to consider the impacts of repealing this protection before they cast their vote.

 People across the country would lost the ability to access cancer screenings and STD tests that save lives. This vote comes at a time when reproductive health care is increasingly under attack across the United States. Thanks to the Obama administration, people in our region and across the country can get the care they need to stay healthy.”

 The current rule reinforces that it is against the law for state politicians to block people from accessing care at a health center of their choice because it also provides safe, legal abortion. This is already illegal, as a court in Florida found just this past summer. To date, every court to consider the issue on the merits has ruled that state politicians cannot block access to care at Planned Parenthood through the Title X family planning program.