Approximately 1 in 5 women have relied on a Planned Parenthood health center at some point in their lifetime.
Earlier this week, the New Hampshire Executive Council meeting agenda was announced. On June 29th, Executive Councilors will vote on whether or not to restore funding to Planned Parenthood health centers throughout New Hampshire.
The lines are quickly being drawn as Colin Van Ostern urged his fellow Councilors to restore funding to Planned Parenthood.
“For nearly a year, New Hampshire women and families have been deprived of significant funding for critical medical care for birth control, cancer screenings, and annual exams when the Executive Council voted to restrict funding for Planned Parenthood,” said Colin Van Ostern, Executive Councilor and Democratic candidate for Governor. “It’s well past time to vote yes, and approve these funds, and stop playing politics with women’s health.”
“I will vote to approve funding for women’s health care on Wednesday and I encourage Councilor Sununu and his colleagues to vote yes, as well,” Van Ostern concluded.
Van Ostern has consistently been an outspoken advocate for Planned Parenthood and against any attempts to take away women’s reproductive rights. He has made women’s health a priority by working to restore funding for Planned Parenthood three of the past four years. In 2015, he was recognized by NARAL Pro-Choice NH for his work on this issue and was named the state’s “Champion for Choice.”
Executive Councilor and candidate for NH Governor, Chris Sununu is also weighing his decision on the upcoming vote. However, WMUR tweeted that Sununu has no comment on the upcoming Planned Parenthood vote and said, “He hasn’t seen the contract yet.”
Considering that Sununu voted to defund Planned Parenthood last year and the Republican Party as a whole is against Planned Parenthood, I expect he will vote against it as well.
Mayor Ted Gatsas, who is also running for Governor, was quick to show his misguided opposition to Planned Parenthood in a statement urging Chris Sununu to oppose the contract.
“I have consistently opposed public funding for Planned Parenthood and believe that there are many community health organizations that can provide alternate, high quality health care options for women. As governor, I will ensure that Planned Parenthood does not receive tax dollars.”
Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, was quick to point out how as Mayor, Gatsas has failed the people of Manchester when it comes to providing quality healthcare.
“For fifty years, tens of thousands of New Hampshire women, men, and young people have chosen Planned Parenthood of Northern New England as their healthcare provider, while Ted Gatsas has been working against public policies and programs that improve their health and safety.
“Under Ted Gatsas’ tenure as Manchester mayor, the City has consistently had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state and the Manchester Health Department even shut down its STD/HIV clinics. Now Gatsas wants to further deny women, men and young people life-saving medical services such as cancer screenings, breast exams, access to contraception and STI testing and treatment.”
“Ted Gatsas is campaigning to spread his dangerous anti-women’s health agenda across the state and it is clear that the reproductive health of women and families and the public health of our communities is at great risk.”
“When it comes to funding for critical women’s health services Ted Gatsas is on the wrong side of public opinion, the wrong side of public health, and the wrong side of history. New Hampshire voters are watching and they will remember in the fall,” Frizzell concluded.
Thousands of working women rely on Planned Parenthood to provide quality, low cost healthcare in the Granite State. This should not be a partisan issue. These Councilors should put the health and safety of the people they swore to represent above partisan political bickering.
We urge all of the Executive Councilors to vote to restore funding to Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be hosting a “rally in pink” to urge Councilors to restore funding to Planned Parenthood prior to the Executive Council meeting on June 29th at 9am.
(More details on PPAF’s Facebook Event)
Also take a few seconds to sign the petition urging Executive Councilor to restore funding for Planned Parenthood health centers.