SHAHEEN ON SENATE FLOOR: Family Planning Discrimination Bill “Would Leave Millions of Women and Families with Fewer Healthcare Options”

March 01, 2017

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

 

**Following her speech, Shaheen met with former patients and advocates from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England**

 

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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 that family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood provide to women and families in New Hampshire and the impact this resolution would have. “This is a misguided measure that would leave millions of women and families with fewer healthcare options, and it would drastically decrease women’s access to basic primary and preventive health services, including life-saving cancer screenings and HIV testing.” said Shaheen. “For years now, Republican leaders in Congress have attempted to keep women from choosing Planned Parenthood as their health care provider. This at a time when Planned Parenthood serves millions of women nationwide, including nearly 12,000 women in my state, most of them with incomes below or near the poverty line.”

Earlier today, Senator Shaheen joined dozens of her Senate colleagues on a letter to Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calling on him to “protect the health and wellbeing of millions of women” by committing not to bring this legislation to the Senate floor.

During her remarks, Shaheen mentioned her guest at President Trump’s address to Congress yesterday evening, Jennifer Frizzell of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and discussed why she invited her to attend: “Jennifer knows exactly what is at stake for women if President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress succeed in closing hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics across the United States.” Shaheen also cited the role that Planned Parenthood and family planning clinics play in providing women and families with basic health care needs. “In 2015 alone, Title X provided 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,” said Shaheen.

Shaheen went on to read letters that her office received from Granite Staters who are “pleading with us not to defund Planned Parenthood, not to take away their access to the healthcare they trust and depend on.” Carla Vanderhoof of Newfields, NH wrote: “After being diagnosed with ovarian cyst issues that caused debilitating pain, I turned to Planned Parenthood for treatment. In my case, the treatment for ovarian cysts was birth control. At the time I could not afford the cost of birth control due to my lack of insurance, but Planned Parenthood gave me the birth control free of charge.”

“This is about respecting women’s access to healthcare services, including millions of vulnerable women who have nowhere else to turn for essential care,’” said Shaheen. “This is also about respecting women’s constitutionally protected right to make our own reproductive choices.”

Shaheen urged her Senate colleagues to “not allow Congress to strip away federal investments in family planning clinics by allowing States to discriminate.”

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