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House Once Again Seeks to Eliminate Funding for Family Planning, Planned Parenthood and other Health Services

Written by Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson forRH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post. The House GOP is nothing if not determined to show just how little regard they have for the health and well-being of women in this country. Just a day or two after launching a politically-motivated "investigation" of Planned Parenthood--demanding audits with taxpayer funds of programs that have already been audited with taxpayer funds--the House leadership released a draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill that is a retread of attacks on women and the working poor. The bill would:
  • Prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood through programs such as Medicaid which provides low-income women with preventive health care, including birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, and STD testing and treatment;
  • Eliminate funding for the Title X Family Planning Program, which provides access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other family planning services to five million low-income women each year, and through which women can avoid unintended pregnancies that would otherwise lead to abortion;
  • Ban insurance coverage of abortion in the new health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act — taking away a common health benefit that most women currently have;
  • Prevent the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (the health care reform law passed last year by Congress), and eliminate the new benefits that include insurance coverage of women’s preventive services like mammograms, cancer screenings, and birth control, with no additional co-pays;
  • Cut the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative by $64.79 million — from $ 104.79 million to $40 million — stipulating that $20 million of that money must be used for grants to provide ineffective, abstinence-only education; and
  • put in place a sweeping new refusal provision that undermines patients’ access to quality health care, effectively imposing a religious ideology test on access to essential care.
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