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Shaheen Hits GOP-Controlled Executive Council for Third Consecutive Vote to Defund NH Family Planning Providers

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after New Hampshire Republicans on the Executive Council voted for the third time to defund family planning providers throughout the state. Three of the providers defunded by the Executive Council provide approximately 80 percent of family planning services in New Hampshire.

“New Hampshire Republicans’ assault on women and their health care in New Hampshire is unconscionable. Their repeated decision to deny women autonomy when it comes to private and personal decisions around their health is wildly out of touch with Granite Staters’ values. I never thought I would see these kinds of attacks targeting women and families in the ‘Live Free or Die’ State,” said Shaheen. “Defunding family planning providers cuts women’s access to essential services, like cancer screenings, maternal health and reproductive care. This dangerous decision builds on New Hampshire Republicans’ anti-women agenda – from imposing an abortion ban to requiring costly and unnecessary ultrasounds – all as Roe v. Wade could soon be overturned. Putting lives at risk just to score cheap political points is even more egregious amid the deadly surge of the Omicron variant. I’m outraged by the Executive Council’s repeated, deliberate decision to put New Hampshire women in danger, and I’ll keep working at the federal level to secure resources for family planning providers and protect reproductive rights.”

In response to the Executive Council’s first vote, Shaheen and the congressional delegation hosted a press event in September with representatives from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Equality Health Center and Lovering Health Center to discuss the dangerous consequences of the extreme partisan decision. The press event followed the delegation’s letter to the Biden administration calling for the swift distribution of supplemental assistance directly to providers impacted by the Executive Council’s decision. 

The Executive Council’s vote is particularly egregious as it follows years of the Trump administration’s attacks on women’s reproductive health, most notably, President Trump’s implementation of the “Title X Gag Rule,” which shut out the majority of New Hampshire family planning providers from receiving federal grants. Shaheen and the delegation welcomed an announcement in October from the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would approve a rule change to reverse the Title X Gag Rule and help bridge the gap in funding for providers. Soon after, the Biden administration announced it would make available $256,000,000 for Title X providers for fiscal year (FY) 2022. Title X funding is critical for New Hampshire family planning providers that have been decimated by the previous administration’s Title X Gag Rule, leaving the majority of New Hampshire providers without access to Title X funding. Providers have until January 11, 2022 to apply.  In June, Senator Shaheen sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to provide support to New Hampshire family planning providers who will lose state funding under State Republican’s New Hampshire budget bill.

Last month, Shaheen authored an op-ed for Seacoast Online about what’s at stake for women in New Hampshire and across the country as the U.S. Supreme Court considers Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade.