Bend the Arc Opposes Attempts to Block Patients from Accessing Care at Planned Parenthood Health Centers

Bend the Arc joined more than 130 organizations in writing to House and Senate Leadership in opposition to any attempt to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers. The letter also urges Congress to reject politically motivated attacks on the ability of women, men, and young people to make personal health decisions. 

Read the full letter:



January 17, 2017

Dear Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and House Minority Leader Pelosi, 

The more than 130 undersigned organizations stand united in support of Planned Parenthood and the millions of women, men, and young people who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers every day. We oppose any attempt to block patients from accessing the high-quality, affordable health care that Planned Parenthood provides.

In 2014, Planned Parenthood health centers served 2.5 million patients, providing over 4 million sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests and treatment, 360,000 breast exams, 270,000 Pap tests, and birth control for 2 million people. One in five women has visited a Planned Parenthood health center for care in her lifetime, and many rely on Planned Parenthood as their primary health care provider. These health centers play a critical role in providing access to primary and preventive care to many people for whom it would be otherwise inaccessible. Seventy-five percent of Planned Parenthood’s patients have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, and more than half of Planned Parenthood’s 650 health centers are located in rural or medically underserved areas.

The current defunding effort is the latest phase in a long-discredited smear campaign against Planned Parenthood premised entirely upon highly edited and misleading videos which alleged wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Since the release of those deceptive videos, these allegations have been investigated extensively and rejected by multiple congressional committees and 13 different state investigations, which have found no evidence of wrongdoing. In fact, a Texas grand jury tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood instead indicted the makers of these falsified videos.1 An additional eight states decided not to open an investigation at all, citing the lack of credible evidence.2 After a year and a half of exhaustive investigation, it is clear that there are no facts or evidence to support blocking Medicaid patients from accessing one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable care. Rather, this defunding campaign is part of the broader agenda to restrict access to safe, legal abortion and other reproductive health care.

There is no doubt that if this attack succeeds, many patients will lose access to a range of basic preventive health care services, including birth control, STI and cancer screenings, and other lifesaving care—and low-income families will be hit hardest. If Congress were to block all Medicaid patients from seeking care at Planned Parenthood health centers, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 390,000 women would lose access and up to 650,000 women could face reduced access to preventive care within a year.3 Many of the organizations signing this letter work on behalf of those who rely on Planned Parenthood’s compassionate, high-quality care and know how important it is that it continues to be available to those who need it. We stand behind Planned Parenthood’s dedication to assisting their patients and advocating for women throughout the country.

We write in support of the millions of patients who could lose access to vital care if Planned Parenthood health centers are forced to close their doors. This politically motivated attack on Planned Parenthood is an attack on the ability of women, men, and young people to make personal health decisions, including whether and when to become parents. It is an attack on the well-being and economic security of those who are already most in need. We urge you to stand with us and oppose any attempt to block patients from seeking care at Planned Parenthood.

Sincerely,  

30 for 30 Campaign
9to5, National Association of Working Women 
A Better Balance 
A is For 
Abortion Care Network 
AccessMatters 
Advocates for Youth African American Ministers In Action 
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts 
Alliance for Justice 
American Association of University Women (AAUW) 
American Civil Liberties Union 
American Medical Student Association 
American Society for Reproductive Medicine 
Anti-Defamation League
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals 
Atlanta Women for Equality 
Atlanta Women's Center 
AVAC 
Bend the Arc Jewish Action 
BiNet USA 
Black Women's Health Imperative 
Business and Professional Women of Florida 
Business and Professional Women/St. Petersburg-Pinellas 
Catholics for Choice 
Center for American Progress 
Center for Biological Diversity 
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) 
Center for Reproductive Rights 
Cherry Hill Women's Center 
Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program 
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) 
Communications Workers of America 
Delaware County Women's Center 
Disciples Justice Action Network 
Emergency Medical Assistance, Inc. 
Emergency Medical Association, INC 
EMILY's List 
Equality for HER 
Family Equality Council 
Feminist Majority Foundation 
FORGE, Inc. 
Forward Together 
Gender Justice 
Gender Spectrum 
Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network (GSA Network) 
Girls Inc. 
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality 
Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. 
Hartford GYN Center 
Human Rights Campaign 
Human Rights Watch 
Ibis Reproductive Health
Institute for Science and Human Values 
International Women's Health Coalition 
Ipas 
Jewish Council for Public Affairs 
Jewish Social Policy Action Network (JSPAN) 
Jewish Women International (JWI) 
Jewish Women's Foundation of New York 
John Snow, Inc. (JSI) 
Lady Parts Justice League 
Lambda Legal 
Lilith Fund 
Los Angeles LGBT Center 
Maine Women's Lobby 
MergerWatch
Methodist Federation for Social Action 
Movement Advancement Project 
NA'AMAT USA 
NARAL Pro-Choice America 
National Abortion Federation 
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum 
National Association of Social Workers 
National Black Justice Coalition 
National Center for Lesbian Rights 
National Center for Transgender Equality 
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 
National Council of Jewish Women 
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association 
National Health Law Program 
National Institute for Reproductive Health
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health 
National Network of Abortion Funds 
National Organization for Women 
National Partnership for Women & Families 
National Women's Health Network 
National Women's Law Center 
NMAC 
Nursing Students for Sexual & Reproductive Health 
Our Bodies Ourselves 
PAI 
Pathfinder International
People For the American Way 
PFLAG National 
Philadelphia Women's Center 
Physicians for Reproductive Health 
Population Connection Action Fund 
Population Institute 
Positive Women's Network - USA 
Pride at Work 
Pro-Choice Resources 
Public Justice Center 
Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need 
Religious Institute 
Reproductive Health Access Project 
Secular Coalition for America 
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) 
SisterLove, Inc. 
SisterReach 
SisterSong: National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective 
SiX Action 
Southwest Women's Law Center 
The American Medical Student Association 
The Breeding Ground 
The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado 
The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund 
The Sea Change Program 
The Voter Participation Center 
Transgender Law Center 
UltraViolet 
Union for Reform Judaism 
Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation 
United We Dream 
Urban Justice Center 
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity 
Voices for Progress 
Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO 
West Fund 
Western States Center 
Witness to Mass Incarceration 
Women Donors Network
Women for Women 
Women of Reform Judaism 
Women's Law Project 
Women's Medical Fund, PA 
Women's Voices 
Women Vote Action Fund

 

PDF version of letter