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Senator Murray Stands Up to Republican’s Insistence on Pushing Extreme Social Agenda in Budget Negotiations

Apr 07 2011

With government shutdown looming, Murray speaks out against Republican efforts to hold budget negotiations hostage with measure to cut women’s health care

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray promised to fight Republican demands to include an ideologically driven provision in ongoing budget negotiations that would strip federal support for women’s health and family planning programs. In a speech to women’s health advocates, Murray said that she would oppose any budget that includes the Republicans’ extreme policy “riders” that would block patients’ access to lifesaving cancer screenings, family planning services for low-income women, resources for prenatal care, and Planned Parenthood clinics.

The speech came at a rally sponsored by Planned Parenthood and NARAL that included thousands of advocates for women’s health care who flew in from across the country to join efforts to block the extreme proposal. Earlier this week Senator Murray joined with a total of 41 Senators to send a letter pledging to block Republican’s efforts to cut off support for women’s health care.

The full text of Senator Murray’s speech follows:

Thank you! Now this is what a real rally looks like!

I’m here today, like all of you, to speak with one voice, for one reason, to deliver one message:

And that’s that no budget that cuts funding for women’s health care is going to make it out of that building behind me.

This is too important. There is too much on the line. And there are too many of you who are going to stand up for women all across this country.

I have been overwhelmed by the unified response from all of you to this extreme proposal.

I know that in my state alone Planned Parenthood organizers collected over 45,000 signatures in opposition to this rider.

And just the other day I posted a message on my Facebook page saying that I would be speaking at this rally and if anyone had a story about their personal experience with Planned Parenthood, I would try and include it.

Again the support and stories poured in.

But one story – from a woman named Maggie - really struck me. She told me that when she was 18 years old she moved out because her home situation was very abusive. But when she left home she had no money and no access to health care.

Luckily for Maggie, Planned Parenthood was there for her with medication and regular checkups she needed because cervical cancer ran in her family. Care like that – and people like Maggie – are what and who are at stake here today.

You know all throughout this budget debate, and even back through the last election – Republicans have made big promises about just what it was they came to D.C. to do.

They said they wanted to come here to create jobs, reduce the deficit, even work with us. But it turns out that’s not true at all.

It turns out what they really came to D.C. for was more about ideology than our economy.

It turns out, that when push comes to shove, their real target isn’t unemployment - it’s Planned Parenthood.

It turns out they’d rather jeopardize women’s health then jeopardize their standing among the most extreme in their party.

It turns out what they really came here to do is to threaten your reproductive rights.

But I’ll tell you what - I am not going to stand by and watch.

I’m not going to stand by as Republicans try to make lifesaving cancer screenings a thing of the past.

I’m not going to stand by as Republicans try to turn our back on low-income women with nowhere to go for family planning services.

I’m not going to stand by as Republicans try to take away resources for prenatal care.

I’m not going to stand by as Republicans try to blocks patients’ access to Planned Parenthood health centers that help millions of women and families every year.

And clearly you’re not ready to roll over either.

So, together, today, as one…

It’s more important than ever we tell them we’re not going to budge.

We won’t allow ideology to come before women’s health care.

And we won’t allow them to defund Planned Parenthood and dismantle progress in our country.

So, walk the halls of Congress proudly today, get your friends involved. Raise your voices and raise awareness. Because you will make the difference.

Thank you so much.