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House bill includes important provisions to deal with health and economic needs from the coronavirus pandemic

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a much-needed coronavirus response package, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” an important step in efforts to address the needs of families and individuals as the pandemic continues to spread. The bill ensures free coronavirus testing for people who need it as well as increased Medicaid funding to help states address public health needs, paid sick leave, nutrition assistance, and enhanced unemployment insurance.

The bill’s passage comes after unconscionable attempts by the administration and anti-abortion politicians to derail the legislation until anti-abortion language was inserted — efforts that were, thankfully, unsuccessful.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund urges the Senate to pass the bill as soon as possible and get it to the president for his signature. 

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Access to health care and the provider of your choice must be a top priority as the federal government seeks to manage this public health crisis. The bill before Congress will provide resources to help manage both the public health and economic consequences of this pandemic by requiring cost-free coverage of coronavirus testing, increasing Medicaid support to states, and ensuring paid sick leave. It allows us to meet our growing health care needs while helping ensure that workers across the country don’t have to decide between providing for their families and protecting their own health.

“Still, it is incredible that even during a World Health Organization-designated pandemic, the administration and anti-abortion politicians in Congress tried to delay and undermine this bill by pushing their dangerous anti-abortion, anti-reproductive health agenda. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund exists because politicians have played political football with access to sexual and reproductive health care like this for decades. We thank House leadership for rejecting extremism and focusing on the national crisis at hand.

“Today’s bill must be the start, not the end, of our continued efforts to make much-needed health and economic changes that put families first. The Senate must pass this bill as soon as possible, and the president must sign it.”

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.

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