PPFA’s Dawn Laguens: "This is the worst budget for women and women’s health in a generation. It singles out Planned Parenthood, guts programs designed to help women and their families put food on the table, get the medical care they need, and make ends meet."

Washington, DC -- Last night, the Trump administration unveiled an overview of its Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, revealing sharp cuts and draconian changes to essential programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, TANF and more, that women disproportionately rely on -- and for the first time in history singling out an individual health care provider -- Planned Parenthood -- by prohibiting it from participating in any program funded through Congress’s annual Labor-HHS bill.

As the budget itself notes, never has a President’s budget made such extreme and callous cuts to programs that so many people in the United States rely on. Remarkably, as a candidate, President Trump promised "there will be no cuts" to Medicaid - a promise he has broken in spectacular fashion, proposing to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the Medicaid program, which will result in millions of people losing insurance coverage. More than 70 million Americans, including women, mothers, children and seniors, depend on Medicaid for their health coverage.

Quote from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“This is the worst budget for women and women’s health in a generation. It singles out Planned Parenthood, guts programs designed to help women and their families put food on the table, get the medical care they need, and make ends meet. Gimmicks and misdirection cannot cover up a deadly agenda that would hurt women and prevent access to basic health care in the U.S. and across the globe.

“From day one, women’s health has been squarely in the crosshairs of this administration. If passed, this budget would undo decades of progress for women when it comes to their ability to access health care, to pursue their career and education goals, and to lead safe, productive lives.”

The budget includes unprecedented cuts to federal programs that disproportionately serve women and their families, with steep cuts to the Medicaid program -- which covers half of all births in the U.S. and which one in five women of reproductive age relies on for health care -- and reductions to the SNAP and TANF programs, which help women and families with low incomes put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. It also slashes billions from essential programs and would make it harder for women and their families to access the health care they need.

The budget summary also, for the first time in history, singles out Planned Parenthood on page one, stating:

"The Budget also follows through on a campaign promise and prohibits any funding in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill for certain entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood. This prohibition applies to all funds in the bill, including Medicaid."

In anticipation of the President’s FY 18 Budget, over 60 of the nation's largest and most prominent human rights, women's rights, and labor rights advocacy groups signed on to a letter outlining the bare minimum required for this budget to reflect “women’s empowerment”: Read the full letter here.

 

BACKGROUND: WORST BUDGET FOR WOMEN IN A GENERATION:

This budget blocks millions of women from getting birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood health centers.

  • In an unprecedented move, singles out women who access Planned Parenthood for basic, preventive health care. For the first time in history, the president’s budget prohibits Planned Parenthood from participating in ANY program funded through Congress’s annual Labor-HHS bill. This includes not just Medicaid, but the Title X program, Zika prevention programs, HIV prevention grants, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants to prevent sexual assault, the CDC National Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program, maternal and child health programs, STD and infertility prevention grants, and more. This is the first time a president’s budget has singled out a specific health care provider.

  • Effectively cuts Title X service delivery. Title X is the only federal program solely dedicated to birth control. Though the budget does not include a drastic cut to the program, it still dismantles its impact by prohibiting Planned Parenthood health centers from participating in the program --- which serve 41% of the program's contraceptive patients, the most of any TItle X provider (comparatively, public health departments serve 28% of all contraceptive patients, FQHCs serve 19% of all contraceptive patients, and hospital outpatient sites serve 5% of all contraceptive patients).

It eviscerates health insurance coverage for millions of women with low-incomes -- taking away critical sources of coverage for maternity care, emergency care, and prescription drugs.

It takes food off the plates of families who are struggling to get by -- and makes it drastically harder for women with low incomes to take care of their children -- both at home and abroad.

  • Proposes massive cuts on programs that women and their families disproportionately rely on to put food on the table and make ends meet. The budget includes a $1 billion cut to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, complete elimination of the Social Services Block Grant program, narrower eligibility for individuals and families to access critical food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through restrictions and work requirements, and places limits on who can receive the Child Care Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

  • Drastically cuts programs that protect young girls abroad. The budget cuts over 30% from the State Department, which would deeply undermine programs designed to protect and improve the health of women and girls around the world and fight maternal mortality. These cuts would target some of the most vulnerable people's lives around the world.

BACKGROUND: Want to know this Administration’s health priorities? Just look at who's at the helm of Trump’s HHS. President Trump has systematically filled key Administration positions with anti-women’s health extremists, including:

Women’s health has been in the crosshairs since day one of the Trump administration. Donald Trump is again trying to co-opt “women’s health and economic empowerment” in this budget as part of a sales pitch for harmful policies. In just four months, he has threatened decades of progress on women’s health in the U.S. and around the globe:

  • Signing into law a sweeping Executive Order directly targeted women’s access to birth control.

  • Expanding the Global Gag Rule. Within his first few days in office, Trump’s administration took direct aim at vulnerable women and their families around the world by reinstating and, for the first time in history, expanding the already dangerous legislation.

  • Revoking Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Orders that Protected Women and People of Color from Discrimination and Harassment. On March 27, Trump revoked orders that required companies with federal contracts to follow workplace protections against harassment and discrimination of women and people of color.

  • Undermining Title X, the Nation’s Family Planning Program. Vice President Mike Pence took direct aim at basic health care for women across the country, casting the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to dismantle President Obama’s rule protecting access to basic health care services through the Title X family planning program. President Donald Trump then signed the bill into law behind closed doors. Four million people across the country rely on the Title X program for essential health care like birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and well-woman exams.

  • Cutting Women’s Health Care in Order to Pass the ACA Repeal Bill. In an attempt to force through the administration's already-unpopular bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the administration backed legislation that would  end maternity coverage for women, force new moms back to work, ban abortion coverage, and raise insurance costs for women. Now, they’re also trying to allow insurers to claim that having given birth, having had a C-section, or having been a survivor of domestic violence is a so-called pre-existing condition that they can discriminate against.

  • Ending U.S. Funding for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). UNFPA is a vital organization, and a leading force in preventing maternal mortality and unintended pregnancy in countries around the world. On April 3, the Trump administration revealed that they were eliminating U.S. funding for UNFPA, putting women's lives at risk.

  • Ramping Up Immigration Enforcement Activities that Undermine Safety and Access to Health Care Within Immigrant Communities. In his first week in office, President Trump signed an executive order to ramp up immigration enforcement activities that would make accessing health care riskier within many immigrant communities, especially for immigrant women and their families who already face disproportionate barriers to accessing sexual or reproductive health care. When communities that already face barriers in accessing care are driven further into the shadows, they must forsake the care they need to preserve their own safety. Trump’s budget also called for a sharp increase in resources to detain and remove undocumented immigrants. Combined, these are blatant attacks on communities of color across the country.

  • Signing an Executive Order Banning Immigrants and Refugees from Muslim-Majority Countries. On January 27, President Trump signed an executive order that threatened to pull families apart by banning refugees and immigrants from six majority-Muslim countries. This is especially detrimental to women and children who make up the majority of refugees.

  • Confirming Anti-Abortion Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court – a judge whose views are so outside of the mainstream that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to change the rules in order to force through his confirmation. In every case related to reproductive rights that Gorsuch considered as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, he ruled in a way that would have blocked women's access to reproductive health care.

  • Advocating For a Bill That Would “Defund” Planned Parenthood – Blocking Millions From Essential Health Care Like Birth Control, Cancer Screenings, Well-Woman Exams, and More. The disastrous bill to repeal the ACA had another hit on women hidden inside it – an extremely harmful provision that would “defund” Planned Parenthood, or specifically prohibit people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers, including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment. Many of these patients would have nowhere else to go for care. Those who already face barriers to accessing health care – especially people of color, people with low incomes, and people who live in rural areas – would be hardest hit.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.