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Republican House Majority Jeopardizes Women's Health with Dramatic Cuts to Family Planning, Planned Parenthood
"There's no question the new Republican leadership has just shown they have no concern for women's health care and are willing to score political points with their base at expense of women by passing the Pence amendment to de-fund Planned Parenthood," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
"We are determined to stop passage of the Pence amendment in the final Continuing Resolution, or millions of women will lose access to Planned Parenthood contraceptive and health care services, including STD/HIV testing, breast exams, and preventive cancer screenings.
"Planned Parenthood and its affiliates were the only groups in the entire Continuing Resolution that were targeted by name for exclusion, despite the fact that millions of Americans trust, respect and choose Planned Parenthood for their health care," said Smeal.
Republicans, led by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), voted today to prohibit any federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood, even in reimbursement for services rendered. Every Planned Parenthood affiliate, 102 to be exact, was listed individually in the Pence amendment. In spite of statements that the Pence amendment would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions, such spending is already prohibited.
On the contrary, this amendment would ban any payments to Planned Parenthood for any reason. Even payments that are akin to insurance reimbursements will be prohibited, including, for example, reimbursement to Planned Parenthood for services provided through Medicaid for low-income women's health care, gynecological exams, HIV testing, contraceptives, and other critical services. Ultimately this amendment prevents women from going to their chosen health care provider.
The Pence amendment is only one of the assaults on women and children in the Republican continuing resolution, which includes cuts to teen pregnancy prevention programs, cuts to Head Start and child care programs, complete elimination of Title X programs serving low-income women, cuts in nutrition aid for children and pregnant women, cuts to prenatal care programs, and cuts to assistance for the elderly poor, who are predominantly women.