SHAHEEN ON SENATE FLOOR: Family Planning Discrimination Bill is a “Mean-Spirted Effort to Keep Women from Getting Care at Rates They Can Afford”

March 30, 2017

**SHAHEEN: “This is about ensuring that American women have access to the basic health care they need, where they want to receive it.”** 

**Shaheen highlights letters from Granite Staters urging Congress not to defund Planned Parenthood**

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(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the Senate floor today in opposition to a resolution led by Republican leadership that would allow discrimination against Title X family planning providers, including Planned Parenthood. In her remarks, Shaheen emphasized the vital preventative health care services that family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood provide to women and families in New Hampshire, and the impact that Title X discrimination would have on access to care. “Make no mistake about it, the primary target of this legislation is Planned Parenthood. For years now, we have seen Republican leaders in Congress attempt to defund this essential healthcare provider which serves millions of women nationwide, including nearly 12,000 in New Hampshire, most of them with incomes below or near the poverty line.”

Shaheen continued, “The real issue here, is not about abortion; this is about ensuring that American women have access to the basic health care they need, where they want to receive it… For 40 percent of women, their visit to a family planning center is the only care they receive annually. In 2015 alone, Title X funding made possible basic primary and preventive healthcare services such as pap tests, breast exams, birth control, and HIV testing to more than 4 million women and men at nearly 4,000 health centers.”

Shaheen went on to read letters that her office received from Granite Staters who depend on Planned Parenthood and who are “pleading with us not to defund Planned Parenthood, not to take away their access to the healthcare they trust and depend on.” Sandra Sonnichsen of Goshen, NH wrote: “Planned Parenthood was my only affordable source of gynecological health care for most of my life. I received good, wise, and thoughtful care. I think it is not extreme to say they saved my life… There are not enough alternate low cost women's clinics available. Not providing birth control services to women who want it is not a good economic or social solution.”

“We need to listen to our constituents, who have been speaking out in passionate support of Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics,” said Shaheen. “This is about respecting women’s access to healthcare services, including millions of vulnerable women who have nowhere else to turn for essential care. ”

Shaheen urged her Senate colleagues “to come together on a bipartisan basis to support Planned Parenthood and to defeat this misguided effort to limit essential family planning access to thousands of Granite Staters and to millions of women across America.”