Town Hall Filled with Pink-Clad Planned Parenthood Supporters
Washington, DC -- At a town hall meeting this morning in Reno, Nevada, Senator Dean Heller pledged to “protect Planned Parenthood.” Senator Heller also stated that he does not oppose federal funding for the care provided by Planned Parenthood health centers. Rep. Mark Amodei also spoke at the town hall and stated his support for Planned Parenthood, saying, “I support funding for women’s healthcare with Planned Parenthood being one of the outlets, not the exclusive outlet.”
WATCH THE VIDEO (Sen. Heller response starts at 3:20 mark)
For months, Planned Parenthood patients and supporters have been marching, rallying, protesting, calling, and showing up to Dean Heller’s office to ask him why he’s voting to block access to care at Planned Parenthood. This morning, Planned Parenthood patients and supporters flooded a joint town hall with Rep. Amodei and Sen. Heller, to voice their concern about Congressional efforts to “defund” Planned Parenthood and send a clear message: don’t take away our health care.
Stripping access to care at Planned Parenthood runs counter to what Nevadans, and the majority of Americans, want. The majority of Nevadans don't want Planned Parenthood defunded. In 2016, Republican Joe Heck lost his bid for the Senate to Catherine Cortez Masto after support for Planned Parenthood became a deciding issue in that election.
Later in the town hall Heller reaffirmed his support for Planned Parenthood after he was asked about his support for Planned Parenthood’s services in relation to Las Vegas having the highest rate of syphilis in the nation. After the question was asked, the crowd in the room stood to signify their support for Planned Parenthood.
Senator Dean Heller, Republican leadership, and the White House spent the last three months prioritizing legislation that would have cut millions of women off their health insurance, ended access to Planned Parenthood, and threatened maternity care and family planning. Nevada women and men are tired of these attacks, evidenced by Dean Heller's plummeting approval rating.
Defunding Planned Parenthood would hurt Heller's own constituents. Nearly 18,000 Nevadans rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control and cancer screenings. For many, Planned Parenthood is their only health care provider. Planned Parenthood plays an outsized role in meeting the health care needs of women in need of publicly funded contraceptive services. Although Planned Parenthood health centers comprised 9% of Nevada’s safety net centers that offered family planning care in 2010, they served 40% of patients served by such centers.
20 national polls that all show that voters overwhelming support Planned Parenthood.
Blocking access to Planned Parenthood is deeply unpopular. A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that 75% of Americans, including majorities of both Republican women and Republican men, support federal Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood. This follows a PerryUndem poll that show 74% of voters – including 57% of Trump voters – oppose actions that would prohibit women from accessing birth control, well-woman care, and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.
The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that 80% of American voters are opposed to “defunding” Planned Parenthood when they understand that it actually means blocking patents who rely on Medicaid from accessing preventive and essential health care.