WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee, released the following statement after he voted against filing cloture on S.1881, “a bill to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.”
“Let’s be clear– this latest partisan attack on women’s health care and reproductive rights is not about federal funding for abortions. Today’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood is another example of Republicans’ willingness score political points at the expense of the health and safety of Americans – women and men. Since 1977, it has been well established under the Hyde Amendment that federal funding cannot be used for abortions, except in very narrow circumstances where the life of the mother is endangered or in cases of rape or incest.
“More than 90 percent of the care provided by Planned Parenthood is preventive. By voting to defund Planned Parenthood, senators didn’t vote to end federal funding for abortions. Instead, they voted to make it more difficult for women and their families to access basic, preventive health care services, especially low-income women and those Americans living in rural areas, health professional shortage areas and medically underserved areas. Every year, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide family planning counseling and contraception to 2.1 million women, perform nearly 400,000 screenings for cervical cancer and nearly 500,000 breast exams, and provide nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
“Republicans continue to disregard the health and reproductive rights of women and the well-being of millions of American families. In addition to targeting Planned Parenthood funding, Republicans have taken to the Appropriations process to cut funding for Title X, our nation’s family planning program, by 10 percent or $29 million, and cut the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program by $87.8 million – or 81 percent, while increasing funding for abstinence-only programs from $5 million to $20 million – a 300 percent increase.
“The way a nation treats its women is very much a barometer as to how well that nation is doing, and I will continue to ensure that America treats its women with dignity and respect, repelling all attempts to the contrary.”