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Planned Parenthood Condemns Kelly Ayotte

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.”

NH Voters Strongly Support Planned Parenthood Funding

New Survey Finds New Hampshire Voters Strongly Support Planned Parenthood Funding, Strongly Oppose Potential Government Shutdown

Poll Finds Major Political Liability for Senator Ayotte Due to Her Support for Defunding Preventive Health Care Services at Planned Parenthood

Planned_Parenthood_logo.svgWashington, DC—A new survey conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of Planned Parenthood Action Fund shows that New Hampshire voters strongly support Planned Parenthood despite weeks of outrageous political attacks from anti-abortion extremists and their allies in Congress. The poll found strong opposition to measures like the one the Executive Council approved last week to defund the preventive health services, including cancer screenings and birth control, that Planned Parenthood provides to millions of women in communities across the country; overwhelming opposition to a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood; and major political liability for Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who voted earlier this month to defund these vital health services.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 66 percent of New Hampshire voters oppose defunding Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services, including 72 percent of Independents.
  • 65 percent of New Hampshire voters do not believe that defunding is justified by the deceptively-edited videos released in recent weeks by anti-abortion extremists.
  • An overwhelming majority of New Hampshire voters (75 percent), including a majority of Republican voters (51 percent), have an unfavorable reaction to the idea of shutting down the federal government to block any funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • 56 percent of New Hampshire voters would be less likely to support Sen. Ayotte for re-election as a result of her vote to defund preventive health care services at Planned Parenthood.
  • Roughly two-thirds of New Hampshire voters (68 percent) want Sen. Ayotte to take a clear stand right now against shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood. And nearly two-thirds of voters (62 percent) would be less likely to support Sen. Ayotte for re-election if she votes to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood.

You can find a memo from Hart Research Associates HERE. You can find the poll’s top lines HERE.

Statement of Geoff Garin, President, Hart Research Associates

“These findings in New Hampshire mirror the findings from our national survey: strong support for Planned Parenthood, strong opposition to defunding, and clear political danger signs for Senators who continue to pursue attacks on Planned Parenthood and an anti-women’s health agenda. Support for defunding Planned Parenthood will take a political toll on Sen. Ayotte, including among voters who otherwise might be inclined to support her for reelection. These results leave little doubt that those who want to lead their party to a shutdown fight over Planned Parenthood are creating the likelihood of a political debacle for the Republican Party brand and for GOP candidates in 2016 reelection battles.”

Statement of Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Today’s poll makes it clear: American voters continue to stand strongly with Planned Parenthood and reject these transparently political attacks. Voters know who Planned Parenthood is: the nation’s most trusted reproductive health care provider, and the place millions of women, men and young people turn to each year for basic, preventive care such as birth control or cancer screenings. This relentless, month-long campaign by anti-abortion extremists has not swayed voters, instead they see it for what it is: a concerted effort to end access to safe and legal abortion that is well outside the mainstream. As this poll, and the three national polls before it have shown us, there is a political price to pay for politicians who attack Planned Parenthood and get swept up in a race to the bottom on women’s health.”

Statement of Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund

“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. Today’s polling makes it crystal clear that politicians like Senator Kelly Ayotte, who has repeatedly voted for defunding Planned Parenthood, are 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 2016.”

Last year, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England served 41,643 patients, nearly 13,000 of them in New Hampshire.

Planned Parenthood’s non-profit health centers provide a wide range of preventive health care services, and serve a total of 2.7 million patients per year — at least 60 percent of whom benefit from public health coverage programs such as the nation’s family planning program and Medicaid. More than half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are in rural or medically-underserved areas, meaning that often without Planned Parenthood, our patients would have nowhere else to turn for reproductive health care. More than 90 percent of the care Planned Parenthood provides is preventive, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Approximately 1 in 5 women has relied on a Planned Parenthood health center for care in her lifetime.

The surveys released today follow a national survey with similar findings released two weeks ago. That survey found that 64 percent of voters nationwide, including 72 percent of Independents, do not agree with Congressional Republicans who say that “there should be an immediate vote to end all government funding for Planned Parenthood, including for services Planned Parenthood provides, such as cancer screenings and family planning” because of the videos.

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Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including legislative education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy. Follow us on Twitter.

Attacks On Planned Parenthood Are Attacks On Working Families — #StandWithPP

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Written by Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President for Public Policy, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

Recently a story has unfolded alleging that Planned Parenthood is engaged with selling “fetal body parts.” The more we learn about this, the clearer it is that it’s part of a much bigger pattern of harassment by extremists whose real goal is to ban abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, and cut women off of birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings.

Votes are already on the docket this week in Congress and in New Hampshire that could defund Planned Parenthood—nationally and in our state. Republicans are already using these video attacks to push for federal legislation banning some abortions. And officials in Texas, Louisiana, and Ohio have launched investigations of Planned Parenthood, even though affiliates in those states don’t facilitate fetal tissue donations.

Nearly a hundred organizations across the country, including the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), are standing with Planned Parenthood because they see this campaign for what it really is.

The videos released are part of a decade-long pattern of illegal harassment by fanatics whose focus is banning abortion and preventing women from accessing preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

As the Washington Post editorial board wrote, “truths were distorted to paint an inaccurate and unfair picture of a health organization that provides valuable services to women – as well as to demonize research that leads to important medical advances.”

And this editorial in The Concord Monitor is a good resource for those who want to separate fact from fiction.

This is just another orchestrated attack on women’s health. The people behind it have never been concerned with protecting the health and safety of women. And the only people who have broken laws are the extremists who have been hounding women and doctors for years.

Make no mistake—the attacks on Planned Parenthood are attacks on working families.

In New Hampshire, these attacks are threatening 12,000 low-income women’s access to basic health services like birth control, cancer screenings, and STI tests and treatment. Extremists are calling on the Executive Council to defund Planned Parenthood—again—and it could happen. Councilor Chris Sununu, District 3, is the swing vote, and while he’s supported Planned Parenthood’s contracts in the past, he’s under tremendous pressure by extremists to change his vote.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England has been providing high-quality care to hundreds of people in New Hampshire over the past fifty years. The fact that PPNNE doesn’t participate in tissue donation programs in New Hampshire underscores that the calls for a state investigation and defunding PPNNE health centers are all about political grandstanding, not facts.

The politicians who have raced to join the fanatical group behind these videos by calling for defunding Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will find that they are on the wrong side of public opinion, the wrong side of public health, and the wrong side of history.

You can #StandWithPP and the thousands of New Hampshire women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their healthcare. Email your Executive Councilor today and urge them to protect women’s health by voting “yes” on Planned Parenthood’s contract. Then join supporters for a rally outside the State House on Wednesday, August 5 at 9:30 a.m. before the Executive Council casts their vote.

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