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Senator Ayotte’s War On Women’s Health And Reproductive Rights

Senator Kelly Ayotte claims to be standing up for Granite State women but her votes on the “Blunt Amendment”, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood tell a very different tale.

Over the last five years in Washington, Sen. Ayotte voted six times to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides critical health care services to thousands of New Hampshire women, including preventative care, birth control and cancer screenings.

She even submitted her own “women’s health” bill that women’s health experts called a “sham and an insult to women.” The bill would hurt women by making birth control more expensive–up to $600 more in out of pocket costs each year.

Increasing the cost of birth control does nothing to help women. When women are forced to pay more money out of pocket for their prescriptions, women lose while pharmaceutical companies line their pockets with their hard earned money.

So it comes as no surprise that Senator Ayotte has collected more than $200,000 dollars in campaign contributions from Big Pharma.

She also voted against allowing Americans to access safe and less expensive prescription drugs from Canada. She also blocked a measure that would help get more affordable generic drugs to market sooner.

“Kelly Ayotte has put her big pharma campaign backers ahead of the health of the people of New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “We deserve a Senator who will put New Hampshire first, stand up to predatory pharmaceutical companies, and help increase access to affordable medications and health care overall.”

In addition to voting to defund Planned Parenthood six times, Ayotte has also voted to cut all funding to the Title X Family Planning Program, which helps fund 4,200 Family Planning Centers that provide access to breast and cervical cancer screenings and other preventive health care to many low-income women.

And Ayotte opposes a woman’s right to choose. She said, “I certainly believe that Roe [v. Wade] should be overturned,” and cosponsored a plan which would have allowed employers to deny women insurance coverage for birth control.

Some have speculated that Ayotte’s failure to do her job and confirm a new Supreme Court Justice is because she is waiting for Donald Trump to nominate a justice who will overturn Roe v Wade.

Kelly Tries To Deceive Voters About Her Support Of Women’s Health On The Campaign Trail

Kelly Ayotte’s campaign continues to perpetuate the myth that she supports women’s health care. When confronted about her six votes to defund Planned Parenthood, Kelly Ayotte has the same pivot –– that she’d redirect money to community health centers. But there are a few major problems with her canned response.

First, Ayotte has repeatedly voted against federal funds to support community health centers. She repeatedly voted against the Affordable Care Act that provided $11B over five years to support Community Health Centers across the nation.

Second, Planned Parenthood health centers serve an outsized role in meeting the family planning needs for those who rely on federally-funded health programs.

A recent report found that in the 491 counties served by a Planned Parenthood clinic, “Planned Parenthood serves at least half of all American women who receive birth control from safety-net clinics. In one-fifth of these counties, a Planned Parenthood site is the only family planning center for clients who rely on subsidized help.”

The report also found that, “Although Planned Parenthood health centers comprise 10% of publicly supported safety-net family planning centers, they serve 36% of clients who obtain publicly supported contraceptive services from such centers.”

“Kelly Ayotte has spent six years voting to restrict access to women’s health care. Now that she’s up for reelection, she’s trying to moderate. The fact is that Ayotte’s votes against Title X funding and the ACA, have not only jeopardized care at Planned Parenthood health centers, they also aimed to restrict access to care for women and low-income families at the very Community Health Centers she claims to support. Granite Staters can see right through Kelly Ayotte’s election year politics,” said Victoria Bonney, Communications Manager for Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund.

This week, Maggie for NH released a new ad, “Six Times,” highlighting the six times Ayotte has voted against Granite State women by voting against Planned Parenthood.

“Kelly Ayotte has a long record of standing with her political party at the expense of Granite State families, and her six votes to defund Planned Parenthood and jeopardize access to critical health services including cancer screenings and birth control are yet another example,” said Maggie for NH Press Secretary Meira Bernstein. “Maggie Hassan believes that it’s unacceptable that politicians in Washington are still playing politics with women’s health care, and in the Senate, she will fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own health decisions and to safely and affordably access health care.”

The Trump/Ayotte Ticket

Now Ayotte may not be endorsing Donald Trump for President, though she says she will vote for him, they are walking hand-in-hand attacking women’s health and reproductive rights.

At a campaign event in New Hampshire on Thursday, Trump announced his support for Ayotte’s “sham” contraceptive bill that would force women to pay up to $600 more for their birth control prescriptions.

“Donald Trump’s support for (or is it an endorsement of?) Kelly Ayotte’s plan to make birth control more expensive makes it crystal clear that when it comes to undermining women’s healthcare Ayotte and Trump are in perfect agreement,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “New Hampshire women and people of all genders who care about access to affordable healthcare will reject this toxic ticket in the fall and send both Trump and Ayotte packing.”


More facts on Senator Ayotte’s war on women:

FACT: Ayotte has voted repeatedly to repeal the requirement that health insurance cover birth control without a copay.

FACT: At the urging of the Koch Brothers’ political arm, Kelly Ayotte voted to slash $1.3 billion from community health centers nationwide. This same bill would have also eliminated 750 community health center jobs in just New Hampshire.

FACT: The bill Ayotte touts regarding mammograms is dependent on the preventative care protections in the Affordable Care Act which Ayotte has voted five times to repeal. If Kelly Ayotte gets her way, 285,949 New Hampshire women will lose the guarantee that their insurance will cover preventative services like mammograms with no out of pocket costs.

FACT: Ayotte co-sponsored and voted for a measure that would have given employers the right to refuse insurance coverage for their employees of any medical treatments or services they disagree with–including birth control. This bill was opposed by the American Cancer Society because it would allow bosses to deny their employees coverage for important preventive health services.

FACT: On at least three different occasions, Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness legislation to ensure that women are paid equally for equal work.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, women make 76 cents for every dollar earned by men in New Hampshire. The numbers are worse for minority women: African American women earn 65 cents and Latinas 70 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.

“Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness a whole bunch of times. And then, just for kitten-heel kicks, she and some of her fellow lady Republicans introduced their own adorable “Equal Pay” bill, which wouldn’t actually strengthen equal pay laws so much as weaken them by creating extra loopholes for employers. It’s like the same thing, only different,” wrote Kaili Joy Gray for Wonkette.

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About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News
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