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MURRAY JOINS 41 SENATORS TO SIGN LETTER OPPOSING 'EXTREME' GOP PLAN TO END SUPPORT FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH AND FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES

Apr 04 2011

Senate Democrats Urge Senate Leaders to Reject Harmful Policy Riders in House Republican Budget that Would Eliminate Funding for Title X, Planned Parenthood

Washington, D.C. – Today, 41 U.S. Senators, including U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging them to oppose extreme proposals by House Republicans to eliminate support for women’s health and family planning programs and providers. 

In the letter, the Senators point out that the Title X family planning program serves about five million low-income women and men at more than 4,500 health centers each year.  Many of these individuals and families rely on Title X funded health care providers as their primary source of health care. 

The letter also expresses the Senators’ opposition to the provision in the House-passed Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) that cuts Planned Parenthood health centers off from federal funds used to provide cancer screenings, STD tests, birth control and other preventive health care services. Planned Parenthood serves nearly three million women and families nationwide each year, providing more than 3.9 million tests for sexually transmitted diseases, 737,000 pap tests and 720,000 breast exams.

The letter which was led by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was signed by Senators Akaka (D-HI), Baucus (D-MT), Begich (D-AK), Bennet (D-CO), Bingaman (D-NM), Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Boxer (D-CA), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Coons (D-DE), Feinstein (D-CA), Franken (D-MN), Gillibrand (D-NY), Hagan (D-NC), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Kerry (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Kohl (D-WI), Landrieu (D-LA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Lieberman (I-CT), McCaskill (D-MO), Menendez (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Reed (D-RI), Sanders (I-VT), Shaheen (D-NH), Stabenow (D-MI), Tester (D-MT), Mark Udall (D-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM), Warner (D-VA), Webb (D-VA), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR).

The full text of the Senators’ letter is below:  

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:

During this economic downturn, many women and families are struggling to make ends meet, and are relying on women’s health and family planning centers for access to essential health care services such as breast exams, other cancer and disease screenings, contraception and more. 

We write to you today to affirm our strong support for making women’s health and family planning services affordable and available, and ask that you stand with us against extreme proposals by some Members of the House to eliminate support for women’s health and family planning programs and providers that serve millions of women and families. 

We know the Title X family planning program serves nearly five million low-income women and men at more than 4,500 health centers each year.  Many of these people rely on Title X funded health care providers as their primary source of health care.  Yet, the House-passed Continuing Resolution would eliminate all funding for Title X and leave millions of Americans at risk. 

We also oppose the provision in the House-passed Continuing Resolution that cuts Planned Parenthood health centers off from federal funds used to provide cancer screenings, birth control and other preventive health care services to three million Americans every year.

Without access to these services, many of these women will be unable to get preventive screenings, be at far greater risk for diseases such as cancer and will face more unintended pregnancies. 

Protecting women’s health is a goal we can all agree on.  We urge you to stand with us against extreme proposals by some Members of the House that would harm women and their families.

Sincerely,

Senator Daniel Akaka

Senator Max Baucus

Senator Mark Begich

Senator Michael Bennet

Senator Jeff Bingaman

Senator Richard Blumenthal

Senator Sherrod Brown

Senator Barbara Boxer

Senator Maria Cantwell

Senator Ben Cardin

Senator Chris Coons

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Al Franken

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Kay Hagan

Senator Tim Johnson

Senator John Kerry

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Herb Kohl

Senator Mary Landrieu

Senator Frank Lautenberg

Senator Patrick Leahy

Senator Carl Levin

Senator Joe Lieberman

Senator Claire McCaskill

Senator Bob Menendez

Senator Jeff Merkley

Senator Barbara Mikulski

Senator Patty Murray

Senator Bill Nelson

Senator Jack Reed

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Senator Debbie Stabenow

Senator Jon Tester

Senator Mark Udall

Senator Tom Udall

Senator Mark Warner

Senator Jim Webb

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Ron Wyden