Posted in rants
standing with planned parenthood
A few weeks ago, the House passed a bill that would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any government funding. To make sure my representatives were holding true to how I want to be represented, I checked to see how my reps voted. You can go here to see how yours voted on this bill.
My representative in Austin, TX, Congressman Lloyd Doggett, stood with Planned Parenthood and voted against the bill. I made sure to express my appreciation to Rep. Doggett by sending a letter to his office. Today I received this reply:
March 2, 2011
Knowing of our shared interest in protecting women’s reproductive rights, I write to you regarding the Republicans’ outrageous attacks on Planned Parenthood and other health centers that provide abortion care and many preventive medical services upon which low-income women and their families depend. As you may know, the House, over my objection, recently passed a Continuing Resolution proposed by the Republicans that would strip funding from reproductive health programs. An amendment was even adopted that would strip funding specifically from Planned Parenthood. As a longtime supporter of Planned Parenthood, I vigorously opposed this bill and this amendment.
In 2009 alone, the Planned Parenthood centers in Texas provided 263,059 patients with screenings for cancer and diabetes, flu vaccinations, contraception, adoption referrals and much, much more. By proposing to zero out funding for such medical centers, Republicans have turned life-saving care into a political football.
As a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and consistent with my 100% pro-choice voting record (as evaluated by Planned Parenthood and Pro-Choice America), I strongly support reproductive rights. Below, you can read a letter I recently sent to Speaker Boehner in defense of Planned Parenthood and the care it provides. As you may be aware, the new Republican majority has made undermining choice one of their priorities. I cannot overstate the need for you, your family, and your friends, who share our commitment to women’s rights, to lift your voices in support of progress.
I would also appreciate your thoughts on other issues that may be considered in Congress. If you have not already, please take a moment to visit my website at http://doggett.house.gov/ where you can complete a survey online.
To better ensure that your priorities are my priorities, it is important that I hear from you and that you have the opportunity to receive updates about developments in Washington. I hope that you will take this opportunity to sign up for the latest updates from my office, visit my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, or send me an e-mail at Lloyd.Doggett@mail.house.gov. By signing up for “Lloyd’s List,” you are authorizing me to send regular e-mail updates from my office to your e-mail account. Help me work for you by signing up today.
Please keep me advised of any federal matters on which I may be of assistance.
Also included in the message was an open letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner:
Dear Speaker Boehner:
We are writing to strongly oppose efforts designed to undermine women’s access to basic, preventive health care and the women’s health providers they rely on in their communities. In particular, we are deeply concerned about the impact that H.R. 217, the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” would have on American women and their families.
H.R. 217 is squarely aimed at Planned Parenthood health centers, which serve 3 million Americans every year—providing life-saving cancer screenings, routine gynecological examinations, contraceptive services, immunizations, and STI testing and treatment. For more than 90 years, Planned Parenthood’s doctors and nurses have served as a critical source of health care in communities throughout the United States. One in five American women has received care from a Planned Parenthood health center at some point in her life, making it one of the largest women’s health care providers in the country.
We are concerned that some members of Congress are pursuing an agenda that would undercut women’s access to health care.
H.R. 217 poses a significant threat to women’s health. It would prohibit women’s health centers from receiving Title X family planning funds if they separately provide abortion care with private funds. Given that the law already requires women’s health centers to demonstrate that Title X funds are not used for abortion, this legislation is clearly intended to prevent Planned Parenthood and other women’s health centers from receiving this critical funding stream.
American women will suffer if this legislation becomes law, as Planned Parenthood currently serves 36 percent of Americans who receive health care through the Title X program. Simply put, H.R. 217 would cut millions of American women off from their source of primary care.
Now is the time to be working on the issues that Americans care most about: creating jobs and improving the economy. We strongly encourage you ensure the House of Representatives is focused on these issues, rather than legislation that takes health care away from American women.
We live in a time where women are shamed for being sexually active, and where it is getting more and more difficult for women to get the knowledge and resources needed to prevent unwanted pregnancy and avoid STDs and other serious illnesses. Planned Parenthood is an invaluable resource for women across the country, and they do much more than just provide contraceptives for women. PP is a place to learn, to be informed, to stay healthy, to be safe, and to have a better understanding of the choices we have as women. This isn’t just an issue of reproductive rights; it’s an issue of women’s health.
It’s time to stand up and be heard, and to support an organization as important and needed as Planned Parenthood. Find out if your representative voted for or against this bill. If they voted for it, let them know why they made a mistake. If they voted against it, thank them for standing up for women’s health and reproductive rights.