Shaheen Slams Republican-Controlled Executive Council for Doubling Down on Vote to Defund NH Family Planning Providers

December 22, 2021

Shaheen has repeatedly condemned the Executive Council for voting to terminate contracts for family planning providers across the state, which compromises access to health services for Granite State women.

Vote comes on the heels of oral arguments for a pivotal Supreme Court case threatening the future of Roe v. Wade

(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the Republican-controlled Executive Council doubled down on its decision to defund New Hampshire 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 have made it clear time and again that they are willing to sacrifice women’s health, privacy and personal decisions to score political points. The obsession over controlling women’s bodies and the future of their families is disturbing and wildly out of touch with Granite Staters,” said Shaheen. “Let’s talk about what New Hampshire Republicans have done in the last year: they imposed an abortion ban, instituted unnecessary and costly ultrasounds and now they’re cutting off funds to health centers because they want to dictate what kind of health services Granite State women seek. By doubling down on their decision to defund family planning contracts, State Republicans are sending a message to women that they cannot be trusted to make their own health decisions. Sacrificing health to score political points is an egregious assault on women, as well as our families, many of whom rely on these family planning centers as their only resource for health care. As we face a surge in COVID, the scope of the Executive Council’s decision will reach far and wide, compromising access not only for women’s reproductive health, but also family health during the worst possible time. Executive Council Republicans’ partisan politics are putting Granite Staters in danger. It has to end.”

In response to the Executive Council’s original 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 will 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 seven of nine 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.

Earlier this 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.