Over 550,000 people signed an open letter to Congress demanding that the Senate stop the amendment to the continuing resolution that would defund Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Women outraged by the defunding of PPFA and the elimination of Title X funding are flooding Congress with communications. Women’s groups, including the Feminist Majority, the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center, and the National Partnership for Women and Families have joined PPFA in urging the Senate to strike down the amendment.
Late last week, House Republicans, led by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), voted to prohibit any federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood, even in reimbursement for services rendered. In spite of statements that the Pence amendment would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions, such spending is already prohibited. Even payments that are akin to insurance reimbursements will be prohibited, including reimbursement to Planned Parenthood for services provided through Medicaid for low-income women’s health care, gynecological exams, HIV testing, contraceptives, and other critical services. Planned Parenthood health centers across the country conduct over one million cervical cancer screenings and 830,000 breast exams yearly. Its clinics also provide contraception to approximately 2.5 million women per year.
The Continuing Resolution would also eliminate all of Title X funding, the only federal family planning program dedicated solely to reproductive health. Title X has provided reproductive health services to millions of women yearly.