U.S. Senate Defeats Harmful Measure Stripping Planned Parenthood of All Federal Funding

(PRESS RELEASE) Pro-choice Senators blocked attempts to advance a measure today which would have stripped Planned Parenthood of all federal funding dedicated to providing basic health care services, including cancer screenings and contraception, to millions of low-income women, men, and young people.

The measure—S. 1881—was introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) last week shortly after the release of a series of heavily-edited videos obtained under false pretenses by anti-abortion extremists fixated on ending safe and legal abortion in U.S. Several members of Congress and the California Attorney General have called for investigations of the organizations behind this underhanded effort.

Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health care providers are granted federal dollars to provide much needed health care services—including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—to underserved communities. The organization serves a total of 2.7 million women, men, and teens per year and approximately 1 in 5 women has relied on a Planned Parenthood health center for care in her lifetime.

Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:

“All women deserve access to affordable contraception and other basic health care services in their own communities. Funding for essential health care services should never be used as a bargaining chip by politicians looking to boost up their anti-choice bona fides.

“Thanks to the efforts of our champions in Congress, millions of women and men will continue to have access to high-quality, comprehensive health care services. We are proud to stand with Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health care providers in the face of this latest smear campaign and urge politicians to stop legitimizing these baseless, politically motivated attacks on trusted health care providers.”

A number of states have slashed family planning funding in recent years, including Texas. The Center for Reproductive Rights has been documenting the devastating impact of the loss of family planning services in the Rio Grande Valley since 2011, when the Texas legislature severely cut funding for women’s health services and excluded Planned Parenthood—the state’s largest family planning provider—from participating in the Texas Women’s Health Program.

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