Health and Fitness

108 House Members Send Letter to Appropriation Chairs to Reject Riders That Threaten Women’s Health

WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWSPF)–December 5, 2011. Today Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Mike Quigley and 106 of their House colleagues sent a letter to House Appropriations Chair Harold Rogers and Ranking Member Norm Dicks urging them to reject any language jeopardizing women’s health in upcoming federal funding legislation. The Appropriations Committee is working on legislation to extend federal funding for the remainder of the fiscal year. 

“Rather than tackling unemployment and answering the call of the American public for jobs, House Republicans continue to pursue an extreme agenda to undermine women’s access to critical care and attack the health providers they rely on in their communities,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “This agenda is not only out of the mainstream, but disregards the needs of American women, including their right to reproductive health services. 

Congress needs to focus on helping Americans who are struggling to find work, feed their families, and pay for necessities like education and health care.  Instead, we have seen repeated efforts made by the Republican majority to hold critical appropriations bills hostage to a series of relentless attacks on the rights of women.  It is time for those attacks to stop,” said Schakowsky.

 “It’s time to stop playing political games with women’s health and start getting serious about our economic future,” said Rep. Quigley. “We can’t balance the budget through partisan ideological attacks, especially those that jeopardize the well being of women through cuts to crucial family planning and reproductive health services.”

 Earlier this year, House Republicans threatened to shut down the federal government over funding for Planned Parenthood health clinics, which serve over 3 million women and men each year.  Now the chair of the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee has proposed a bill to prohibit federal funding for preventive care provided by Planned Parenthood, eliminate crucial family planning services, and as well as strip family planning coverage from health insurance plans. 

Other appropriations proposals would inexplicably permanently ban coverage for a full range of reproductive healthcare for millions of low-income women and eliminate funding for the United Nations Population Fund that finances health services for women worldwide.  Even the House Agricultural Appropriations bill contains unnecessary abortion-related language.

A copy of the letter is attached.  (Click here)