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Shaheen: Defunding Planned Parenthood Would Block Women's Access to Preventive Health Care

(Washington, DC) – The Senate is expected to soon vote on Republican legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood. This afternoon on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) denounced the most recent partisan attempt to defund this provider of health care services to women and families. You can watch her remarks here

Shaheen’s remarks as prepared for delivery are included below:

Once again, Planned Parenthood is under attack.   

A bill is before the Senate that would once again attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

And once again, we’re seeing the Republican majority put their partisan agenda ahead of the health of women.

For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been a trusted provider of health care services.  

Last year alone, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England served 12,000 women in New Hampshire, most of them low-income. For many women in my state of New Hampshire, the full range of health services offered at Planned Parenthood is the most affordable and accessible way for them to get the care they need.

Ninety-four percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire are prevention related – it’s well women visits, cancer screenings, vaccinations, birth control consultations, breast exams and HIV tests. 

Planned Parenthood provides the health care that so many women need to ensure that they can live their lives in a way that gives them opportunities and gives them reassurance that they going to have their health.

I opposed the legislation that has been proposed to defund Planned Parenthood. It would make it harder for the millions of women to get the high-quality, affordable care that they need.  

This attack on women’s health is politically motivated and it holds hostage the millions of women and families who depend on Planned Parenthood.  

The highly edited videos that have been circulated are disturbing. Planned Parenthood has apologized and the secretly-taped videos and Planned Parenthood’s practices are under review by the Department of Justice. And that’s appropriate.

But make no mistake about it:  the group responsible for these deceptive videos is motivated by a single purpose: to limit access to abortion services. Its three officers are prominent in the anti-abortion movement and have ties to many other politically-motivated groups that are working to take away a women’s right to choose. They have been tied to organizations that harass medical providers, doctors, patients, try and limit access to women’s health care clinics and they actively work to limit the reproductive health care decisions a woman can make.

Now federal dollars are already prohibited from being used to pay for abortion under the Hyde Amendment, except in cases of rape, incest or when the health of the mother is threatened. This is not a vote to defund abortion this is a vote to defund preventative health care for women.

By targeting Planned Parenthood, this politically-motivated attack on women’s health will limit access to health care services that I think we all agree should be available: services like family planning, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and immunizations.

On behalf of the millions of women who are served by Planned Parenthood, and the thousands of women in New Hampshire, I oppose and I will continue to oppose any attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that is a critical component of women’s health care.