Jeb Bush didn't misspeak -- he told the rest of America what Florida women have known for years, which is that he doesn't believe women's health is worth much.”- Statement from Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood Action Fund

New York -- Planned Parenthood issued the following statement in response to former Florida Governor and GOP Presidential candidateJeb Bush’s remark that he is “not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”

Statement from Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Jeb Bush didn't misspeak -- he told the rest of America what Florida women have known for years, which is that he doesn't believe women's health is worth much.

“In three sentences today, Jeb Bush made it very clear that women will lose access to health care if he becomes president. These remarks show that Jeb Bush is no moderate. On women's health issues, he is just as extreme and out of touch as the rest of the Republican primary field, and the policies he supports would hurt women across the country.

“Just look at his record while Governor of Florida: He slashed funding for family planning, sex education and even teen self-esteem programs; signed six anti abortion laws, and passed a law in 2001 that forced single mothers --- including minors and rape victims --- to advertise their sexual history in the newspaper.

Bush’s comments came as he also noted that he would eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood’s non-profit health centers if elected.  As of July in 2015, Planned Parenthood health centers in Florida have:

  • Served over 70,000 patients at Planned Parenthood

  • Provided 46,698 women with birth control services.

  • Conducted 61,051 STI tests.

  • Performed 16,583 breast exams

Of all 50 states, Florida is tied for last place in women's health. 34 percent of Florida’s 67 counties do not have any ob-gyns, and as of 2012, more than one million in Florida were in need of publicly supported contraception.

Jeb Bush’s positions on women’s health:

· As governor, Bush signed at least SIX anti-abortion laws into law and in 2003 declared that he was "probably the most pro-life governor in modern times.” He advocated for and signed targeted restrictions on abortion providers, one of which theTampa Bay Times editorial board wrote were “rules clearly written by bureaucrats, not health professionals.” Bush said that he signed the bill “gladly, with pride and conviction," because he was motivated to “create a culture of life in our state.”

· As governor, Bush aggressively intervened in two high-profile cases to prevent a developmentally disabled rape victim and a young woman, who was a ward of the state and became pregnant after running away from another state group home, from being able to access safe, legal abortion. In one of those cases, he tried to get a state-appointed legal guardian for the young woman’s fetus.

· Jeb Bush intervened in what has been called one of the “most contentious, drawn-out conflicts in the history of America’s culture wars,” and attempted to take custody of Terri Schiavo and overrule her husband’s decision to remove her feeding tube, 15 years after cardiac arrest had left her in a vegetative state.

· Jeb Bush allowed a law to pass in Florida in 2001 that forced single mothers — including minors and rape victims — planning to put their children up for adoption to advertise their sexual histories in a newspaper if they didn’t know the identity of the father. Bush, who was Florida’s governor at the time, declined to veto the bill, which quickly became known as the “Scarlet Letter Law.”

· Bush wrote an entire chapter in his book on “character” called “The Restoration of Shame” about returning to a time when “public condemnation” was used to prevent people from “irresponsible conduct,” specifically targeting single mothers.

· Jeb Bush funneled millions of taxpayer dollars into abstinence-only programs, while cutting funds for crucial family planning programs that health centers like Planned Parenthood provide.

Impact on Florida women:

· In a study of all 50 states’ health care policies known to improve the health and well-being of women and children, JebBush’s home state of Florida is tied for last place for women’s health.

· According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 34 percent of Florida’s 67 counties do not have any ob-gyns.

· In 2012, 1,199,480 women in Florida were in need of publicly supported contraception; and thanks to the Affordable Care Act more than 1,801,000 now have access without a copay.

· In the absence of the publicly supported family planning services provided at safety-net health centers like Planned Parenthood, the rates of unintended pregnancy, unplanned birth and abortion would be 28 percent higher in Florida, and the teen pregnancy rate would be 37 percent higher.

· In Florida, the publicly funded family planning services provided at safety-net health centers in 2010 helped save$260,272,000 in public funds.

· Planned Parenthood health centers served nearly 80,000 people in Florida last year; with 61 percent of Planned Parenthood health centers providing care in rural or medically underserved areas statewide.

  • Conducted 30,995 tests for chlamydia — a leading cause of preventable infertility — that resulted in 2,372 positive results and follow-up treatment
  • Performed 17,487 breast exams
  • Provided 54,808 patients with birth control services

 

In Jeb Bush’s own words:

· Jeb Bush has a long history of opposing safe and legal abortion. In 2003, he declared himself “the most pro-life governor in modern times” in Florida. [Huffington Post, 3/25/15; Associated Press, 10/24/03]

· Jeb Bush claims that the Affordable Care Act, a law that is a historic advancement for women’s access to health care, is “flawed to its core.”  The law ensures that women can’t be charged more for health insurance or denied coverage for so-called “pre-existing conditions” like breast cancer or domestic abuse. It also ensures that women have access to no-copay birth control, saving women up to $600 a year, and has helped nearly 12 million Americans gain access to affordable health care, including more than more than 1,590,000 Florida residents. [POLITICO, 10/20/13; ASPE Office of Health Policy, 3/10/15]

· In a Florida case where a 22-year-old woman living in a state-supervised facility was raped and became pregnant, Bushasked a court to appoint a guardian to represent the woman's fetus saying, ''Given the facts of this case, it is entirely appropriate that an advocate be appointed to represent the unborn child's best interests in all decisions.” [New York Times, 5/15/2003]

· Jeb Bush wants to block women from getting preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers, and one of his campaign advisors recently said, "We have got to defund Planned Parenthood, by the way, and Gov.Bush supports those efforts." [Huffington Post, 4/27/15]

· In his 1995 book called Profiles of Character, Jeb Bush wrote: “One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame...There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.” [Huffington Post, 6/9/15]

· When Jeb Bush was asked about what he wrote in his book about unwed births, he told MSNBC that his views haven’t changed. [MSNBC, 6/11/15]