Shaheen: All women deserve access to critical health services

September 13, 2011

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) applauded the news that Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will receive a direct contract with the federal government to provide affordable family planning services in New Hampshire, which Shaheen recently urged federal officials to consider.

“Women in every part of the state deserve access to affordable reproductive health services, and Planned Parenthood is a critical provider of those services in our state,” Shaheen said. “These clinics also provide vital preventive care, such as screenings for breast and cervical cancer. In some parts of New Hampshire, Planned Parenthood is the only provider of these preventive services to low-income women. I am glad the federal government has stepped up to provide this new contract, so that women in every part of New Hampshire will have somewhere to turn for basic health issues. “

On September 6, Shaheen sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, asking her to consider a direct federal contract with Planned Parenthood to provide low-cost reproductive health services in New Hampshire. These critical health services were jeopardized when the New Hampshire Executive Council relinquished a federal Title X grant by rejecting a contract with Planned Parenthood to provide these services.

For over 30 years, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) has provided essential health care services in New Hampshire under the federal Title X family planning program: everything from contraceptives, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, and screenings for breast and cervical cancer. Last year, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England served 16,000 women and men through its Title X contract. 

 “Such preventive care is crucial, as detecting these cancers early through regular screening greatly increases the chances of survival and the quality of life. And in the long run, it is much cheaper for the patient, the federal government, and for all of us who pay for the nation’s health care system through private health insurance,” Shaheen said.

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