U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement as the House Republicans push the United States government closer and closer to a shutdown while holding the health and well-being of women all across America hostage. The Republican continuing resolution bill passed early Sunday morning specifically targets women’s preventive health care, allowing an employer or insurer – for virtually any reason – to deny coverage for birth control, annual checkups, screening for gestational diabetes, HPV testing, STD counseling, HIV screening and counseling, breastfeeding supplies and counseling, and screening and counseling for domestic violence.
“House Republicans voted to not only push the United States government toward a shutdown and stop American families from accessing quality, affordable health insurance, but they also launched another shameful attack on women’s health. They seem to believe that their path to political victory over funding our government runs straight through the women’s health clinic. By including a so-called “conscience clause” in their smoke and mirrors attempt to keep the government open, Republicans are effectively telling women they will no longer be entitled to affordable birth control and well-woman checkups where they can be screened for breast cancer, pregnancy-related diabetes, cervical cancer and domestic violence. Taking a page out of the right-wing playbook, House Republicans have once again mounted an ideological attack on women's health as they drive the nation toward a government shutdown. This Tea Party fantasy is going nowhere in the Senate and what’s truly unconscionable is that Republicans would try to rob women of access to health care as the clock ticks down on the crisis they created.”
In April 2011, Senator Murray successfully fought a similar attempt to attack women's health when House Republicans attempted to defund Planned Parenthood as a government shutdown loomed.