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Pallone on House GOP’s Attack on Women’s Health

Feb 16, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) spoke on the House Floor today against H.J. Res. 43, which would allow states to prevent health care providers from receiving any Title X funds if the provider separately performs abortions or is affiliated with health centers that do.  Title X is a federal grant program that provides funding to health centers for family planning and reproductive health services for low-income and uninsured Americans.  Under existing law, federal funding cannot be used to fund abortion procedures.

Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 43.  This resolution is another attack on women’s health, and another attempt by Republicans to limit women’s access to high-quality essential care.

For decades, the Title X family planning program has funded grants that provide millions of Americans each year with access to a broad range of preventive health services, including contraception care and cancer screenings.  Title X is a critical safety net for low-income women and teens, and for many patients this program is their only source of health care.

But Republican want to limit access to these services and allow states to discriminate against certain providers – all as part of their ongoing ideological crusade against abortion.

I stress this resolution would permit states to prohibit reproductive health care providers from participating in the Title X program, and would allow states to block access to care if the provider separately performs abortions or is affiliated with health centers that do.

We have already seen what happens when states take actions to discriminate against providers in the Title X program:  access goes down, the unintended pregnancy rate goes up, and the spread of sexually transmitted infections increases. 

I urge my colleagues to vote no on this resolution, because Republicans should not be entitled to pick and choose providers in the Title X program and play politics with women’s health.