Today, the House of Representatives voted to overturn a rule President Obama put into place last year that clarified the qualifications for funding Title X family planning services. This critical rule reinforced the longstanding requirement that health care providers may not be excluded from the program for reasons unrelated to their qualifications to perform Title X-funded services. In overturning the rule, states may be emboldened to discriminate against health centers like Planned Parenthood and prevent them from receiving Title X funds. In response, Physicians for Reproductive Health Board Chair Dr. Willie Parker issued the following statement:
“Rolling back the rule on qualifications for Title X is dangerous—it could prevent millions of people across the country from getting the health care they need. Where I practice in the South, many of my patients, their families, and their communities rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, and other vital preventive care. Planned Parenthood is the only way some of my patients can stay healthy. The people who rely on Title X funding—including people of color, people with low incomes, and those who live in rural areas—already face obstacles to getting health care. If budgets are moral documents, then so are funding criteria. Nothing says more clearly to our most vulnerable citizens “you don’t matter” like restricting access to what they need to be healthy. The federal government’s priority should be improving Americans’ access to health care, not eliminating options.”
In response to Oklahoma HB 1441, a bill that would unconstitutionally ban a woman from obtaining abortion care in Oklahoma unless the “father of the fetus” provides his “informed written consent,” Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper, Physicians for Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow, issued the following statement:
“Oklahoma HB 1441 is an outrageous bill meant to shame, burden, and degrade women seeking abortion care. This bill clearly violates a patient’s constitutional right to make a decision about her own health care by requiring the consent of her partner. Women in Oklahoma already face multiple restrictions when they are seeking abortion care, and such a blatant attempt to undermine a woman’s autonomy is unconscionable. The bill would also allow men to challenge paternity, which would subject women to costly tests that could delay care. In addition, women in abusive situations seeking abortion care would be put at even greater risk of harm from their partners.
The idea that a woman needs a man’s permission to make decisions about her own medical care or that women are demoted to “hosts” when they are pregnant is dangerous. No one should be empowered to interfere with the private decision to have an abortion. We implore the Oklahoma House of Representatives to vote no on this unconstitutional bill.”
In response to the confirmation of Rep. Tom Price as HHS Secretary, Physicians for Reproductive Health Consulting Medical Director Dr. Anne Davis issued the following statement:
“As physicians who care for women, we are deeply disappointed that Tom Price has been confirmed as the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). During his time in Congress, Price was a staunch and rigid opponent of comprehensive women’s reproductive health care and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
We hope Tom Price will use the many opportunities afforded to him as HHS Secretary to promote the best medical evidence and improve health outcomes for patients. The ACA’s requirement for health plans to cover preventive care, such as contraception, has been a resounding success, as well as an important step to address health disparities. The days of paying extra fees or high out-of-pocket costs for birth control should remain a thing of the past. The ACA has also brought coverage of childbirth, assistance with breastfeeding, well-child visits, and so many other essential parts of protecting maternal and child health.
Our physicians promise to be bold advocates for evidence-based medicine so that Americans do not lose this vital coverage and are able to get the care they need. We urge Secretary Price to stand up for patients and their families.”
In response to the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions to Attorney General, Dr. Willie Parker, Board Chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, issued the following statement:
“As a physician from Alabama who provides abortions, I have seen firsthand how Jeff Sessions’ brand of politics endangers the health and safety of women and families. His extreme record of hostility towards reproductive rights stands in the way of his ability to protect the constitutional right to abortion and the safety of patients and providers. This is unacceptable for any officeholder, but especially worrisome for someone who is now the chief law enforcement official of our great country.
As proponents of quality reproductive health care, we are dedicated to helping women and men exercise their right to lives of autonomy, dignity, self-determination, and opportunity. Not only has Senator Sessions voted against protecting reproductive health care providers and their patients from clinic violence and harassment, Senator Sessions has a record that is marred by racism. He has also made troubling comments about sexual assault victims, and he has voted against protections for the LGBT community. These are not the actions of someone who will protect our citizens or their fundamental rights.
Despite the challenges that Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as Attorney General will pose, we must remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘The time is always ripe to do right.’ It is now more important than ever that physicians continue to fight for the right to safe, comprehensive reproductive health care.”
Signup form module
Signup form module
Sign up for email alerts on the latest in reproductive health and rights. Stay on top of breaking news, key federal and state policy decisions and elections, and opportunities to fight back against attacks.