Ayotte Pinkwashes Record on Women’s Health in New Op-Ed
Concord, NH — Planned Parenthood Action Fund today responded to an op-ed posted by Kelly Ayotte today, calling out Ayotte’s tenuous claims about her record on women’s health and her recent votes to defund Planned Parenthood.
Statement from Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President of Public Policy at Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:
“It’s clear that when Ayotte talks about making ‘women’s health a priority’ she only means “some” women.
Kelly Ayotte seems to forget that access to lifesaving breast cancer screenings and mammography go hand in hand with access to health insurance. This is clear in her unapologetic crusade against the Affordable Care Act — which has allowed thousands of New Hampshire women the ability to afford health care for the first time — and her efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides thousands of breast exams in our state.
Protecting women’s health takes more than a commemorative coin. If Kelly Ayotte were serious about saving lives and making women’s health a priority, she would stop insulting New Hampshire women by pink-washing her record and support meaningful policies to improve health care in the Granite State.”
Or watch here.
Let’s look at the facts:
FACT: Kelly Ayotte has actively tried to undermine improvements to breast cancer detection after she voted multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood. Defunding the nonprofit would have cut access to breast cancer screenings and affordable birth control for thousands of New Hampshire women. In 2014, Planned Parenthood provided over 1,900 New Hampshire women with breast exams and over 11 thousand with birth control.
FACT: Kelly Ayotte is not doing more for women’s health. Kelly Ayotte has an extensive record of voting against policies that would expand women’s access to the full range of health care services, which include votes to defund Planned Parenthood, which in New Hampshire — in addition to providing thousands of breast exams and thousands with birth control — administered over 13,000 STI tests, nearly 2,000 Pap tests, and engaged in sex education and outreach to nearly 2,000 individuals in 2013.
- Senator Ayotte voted for a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks nationwide. [H.R. 36, Roll Call Vote 268, 9/22/15]
- Senator Ayotte voted against an amendment to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (S. 178), which would create a Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund to provide additional resources to existing grant programs that assist survivors of human trafficking. The amendment would strike the Hyde Amendment from the fund, which would prohibit federal dollars from being used to pay for access to abortion care. [S. Amdt. 301 to S. 178, Roll Call Vote 156, 4/22/15]
- Senator Ayotte voted against an amendment to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2), that would have extended enhanced Medicaid reimbursement for primary care physicians,expanding it to include OB/GYN’s. It would have provided $500 million for the Title X family planning program and support training programs for women’s health nurse practitioners. Additionally, the “Women’s Access to Quality Health Care” amendment would have removed a reference to a harmful provision commonly referred to as the Hyde Amendment. [S. Amdt. 1117 to H.R. 2, Roll Call Vote 140, 4/14/15]
- Senator Ayotte voted against the “Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act,” which was a legislative fix to the June 2014 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. [S. 2578, Roll Call Vote 228, 7/16/14]
- Senator Ayotte voted against an amendment to the FY2014 Senate budget resolution, sponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), that would “establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to protect women’s access to health care, including primary and preventative health care, family planning and birth control, and employer-provided contraceptive coverage, such as was provided under the Affordable Care Act.” The amendment passed 56-43.[Roll Call Vote 64, S.Amdt. 438 to S.Con.Res. 8, 3/22/13]
- Senator Ayotte voted in favor of an amendment to, “create a point of order against any legislation that would provide taxpayer funds to the United Nations while any member nation forces citizens or residents of that nation to undergo involuntary abortions.” [Roll Call 86, S.Amdt. 702 to S.Con.Res. 8, 3/23/13]
- Senator Ayotte voted for an amendment that would criminalize doctors and close family members who help young people access a safe and legal abortion. [S. Amdt. 292 to S. Con. Res. 8, Roll Call Vote 64, 3/22/13]
What people are saying about Ayotte’s record:
Boston Globe: This Senate Race Ground Zero For Women Issues
“…Democrats, meanwhile, called into question the seriousness of Ayotte’s legislative efforts. New Hampshire Democratic National Committeewoman Kathy Sullivan described them as “a sham.”
“And if there’s one issue that each campaign plans to use against the other, it’s government funding for Planned Parenthood. Ayotte has voted three times to not have any government funds go to Planned Parenthood.”
Bustle: Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s Women’s Rights Record Has Been Placed Under Heavy Scrutiny. Should It Be?
“Earlier this month, Ayotte told Foster’s Daily Democrat that working parents shouldn’t be “so hard” on themselves — a suggestion that some feminists find ironic, because in 2013, Ayotte sponsored a bill that would have taken benefits away from working parents. The failed Working Families Flexibility Act, which The New York Times referred to as the “Family Unfriendly Act,” would have given workers, including low-wage workers, leave time that could be used with their families — at the expense of their overtime pay grade. Private-sector employees who worked overtime or more than 40 hours each week would be able to choose to have leave time, but they would be paid their regular rates when working overtime, rather than overtime pay rates.
“Ayotte’s other actions on women’s rights are similarly dismal, if not surprising. Ayotte has expressed her support for defunding Planned Parenthood in the past, but she also criticized her fellow Republicans last month for attempting to pass a bill that was destined to fail and could have caused a government shutdown. Ayotte also co-sponsored the failed Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed corporations to refuse to provide birth control health coverage for their employees. Still, Ayotte hasn’t done anything for women’s issues that most other Republicans wouldn’t have done — Carly Fiorina, a GOP presidential hopeful, is also anti-choice.”
What New Hampshire is saying:
Concord Monitor: Letter: Seeing through Ayotte
“Fellow Granite Staters, please do not be fooled by Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s recent tactics with this latest GOP effort to defund Planned Parenthood and possibly shut down the government.
“Make no mistake. A look at Ayotte’s record opens a window that shows a much different image than the one she’s trying to create for herself now that her re-election is fast approaching. Facts don’t change, and once you get beyond her recent sleight of hand, the simple facts are that Ayotte has repeatedly voted to shut down the government and defund Planned Parenthood. The reason for her most recent stunt of a vote is to fool the masses and achieve her goal, which is to get re-elected – something that she’s clearly worried about.”
Read the full letter here
Concord Monitor: Letter: Weighing Hassan vs. Ayotte
“She has also voted several times to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides critical health services to women, and wants to end traditional Medicare by turning it into a voucher program. She also would take health care away from 100,000 Granite Staters by overturning the ACA. All of this on top of protecting billions of dollars in special tax breaks for big oil companies and companies outsourcing jobs that support her.”
Read the full letter here.
Concord Monitor: Letter: Ayotte has poor record on women’s health care:
“While Ayotte claims to be a big defender of women’s health, her record demonstrates otherwise. Ayotte has voted right along with her Republican colleagues as they continue, what some have termed, their “war on women.”
“Let’s look at the facts. Ayotte supported the misguided Hobby Lobby decision. She voted multiple times to allow employers to deny women access to contraception. She introduced a sham birth control bill that increased costs for women which, by the way, was opposed by the American Congress of OB-GYNs.
“Ayotte voted repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning centers. These centers provide critical health services including breast and cervical cancer screenings.
“While Kelly Ayotte and her backers are desperately trying to rewrite history, they can’t alter the facts. Ayotte has repeatedly voted to block women’s access to health care. She has supported efforts to allow employers to deny women coverage for birth control and other preventative screenings. One would hope that in 2015 a woman no less could do better than that.”
Read the full letter here.
(Featured image is screen shot from PP video)