Only New England Senator to Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood
Concord, NH – Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund condemned Senator Kelly Ayotte this evening for her multiple votes to eliminate access health care coverage at Planned Parenthood health centers, undermining the care that thousands of New Hampshire patients rely on. Moments after voting against Senator Patty Murray’s amendment to protect comprehensive women’s health care access, Ayotte took the extreme position of voting against moderate Republican Susan Collins’ amendment to preserve Planned Parenthood funding. Collins expressed a concern that the McConnell reconciliation amendment would lead to the closure of Planned Parenthood health centers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
In New Hampshire last year Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) health centers provided care for more nearly 14,000 patients including more than $2 million in free or discounted care. With 66 percent of patients earning incomes below $17,505, PPNNE is a critical component of the state’s health care safety net and thanks in large part to the work of PPNNE, unintended pregnancy and abortion rates have declined significantly in New Hampshire. This preventative care has resulted in saving the state millions in taxpayer dollars. Sixty-six percent of NH residents oppose defunding Planned Parenthood health centers and seventy-two percent of independents share this view.
The proposed budget reconciliation bill sought to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s ability to receive reimbursement for the health care services provided under the Medicaid program and rolls back the important and historic gains made for women’s health by the Affordable Care Act. The legislation would prohibit federal Medicaid reimbursements for one year to any non-profit entity that is defined as an essential community provider under the Affordable Care Act and is primarily engaged in family planning services, reproductive health, and provides abortion beyond limited circumstances. The definition seeks to exclusively target Planned Parenthood health centers.
Statement from Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President of Public Policy:
“Planned Parenthood condemns Kelly Ayotte for once again abandoning the women, men, and young people of New Hampshire who rely on the critical preventative services at Planned Parenthood health centers. Thousands come to our health centers for care each year for services like breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, STD/STI tests – and for many we are the only provider they will see all year.”
“Women’s health should not be a partisan issue. We are grateful that several moderate Republican Senators, including Maine’s Senator Collins, recognize this. Yet, once again, Senator Ayotte has followed the directives of outside special interest groups instead of protecting the well-being of the women of New Hampshire. Here in New Hampshire and across our country, those who stand with Planned Parenthood understand that women, men and young people should be able to receive the care they need with health insurance from the provider they choose.”
“Senator Ayotte should understand that her votes and her actions have real consequences for the health and well-being of her constituents. It’s profoundly disappointing that politicians like Ayotte continue their constant attacks against women’s health mere days after the recent tragedy that occurred in Colorado Springs. While Ayotte demonstrates extreme indifference to the events of the last week, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will remain focused on the safety and well-being of our patients and our continued commitment to providing high quality health care- no matter what.”