03.07.19

Murray Releases Memo Lifting Voices Opposed to President Trump’s Rule Undermining Family Planning Program

Senator Murray released a new oversight memo detailing opposition to the Trump Administration’s Title X rule from patients, experts, and stakeholders across the country

 

Memo features the comments of patients, providers, city and county officials, and religious organizations opposed to the Administration’s changes to the Title X family planning program


Changes would block providers at Title X-funded health centers from discussing patients’ full reproductive health care options and shut Planned Parenthood out of the program

 

Murray: “Four million people—disproportionately young people, low-income women, and women of color—go to Title X-funded centers—including Planned Parenthood centers—for birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, STD tests and more each year.”

 

Murray: “Republicans here in the Capitol may have no idea what it would mean for patients to lose access to the providers they trust and the affordable care they need. But that’s not because those patients—and their doctors and communities—weren’t speaking up. They were.”

 

Murray: “I challenge Republicans to read the memo I’m releasing. Listen to the women and men this rule hurts and the people working to help them get the care they need. And then, join Democrats in standing up against this dangerous, unethical step backward.”

 

***Watch Senator Murray’s full speech HERE***

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senator Patty Murray, (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, spoke on the Senate floor about a new oversight memo she released highlighting some of the negative impacts of the Trump Administrations changes to the Title X family planning program, and lifting up some of the many comments patients, providers, city and county officials, religious organizations, and people across the country submitted in opposition to the Trump Administration’s rule. In her remarks Senator Murray made clear that the rule is the latest in a long line of attacks on women’s health from President Trump and Republicans, and criticized them for ignoring the voices of people across the country while working on this dangerous and unethical rule.

 

Under the Trump Administration’s rule, health providers at the nearly 4,000 health centers receiving Title X funding would be gagged from informing patients about the full range of reproductive health care options available to them, including safe, legal abortion. In an effort to shut out Planned Parenthood, the rule also imposes new, medically unnecessary requirements on Title X-funded health centers that will make health care less accessible for the four million patients who rely on Title X health centers for basic health care services.

 

Sen. Murray’s memo on Title X  can be found HERE and the dear colleague letter she sent with it can be found HERE. 

 

Key excerpts of Senator Murray’s speech:

 

“If this rule goes into effect, providers at health centers that receive Title X funding will be blocked—gagged—from even telling patients about where and how to get a safe, legal abortion as part of a discussion of reproductive health care options. And the rule would impose new, medically unnecessary requirements that would make it impossible for Planned Parenthood centers—which serve 41 percent of Title X patients—to continue to participate. Four million people—disproportionately young people, low-income women, and women of color—go to Title X-funded centers—including Planned Parenthood centers—for birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, STD tests and more each year. And this rule puts care they depend on in jeopardy.”

 

“I want to make absolutely sure Republicans have every opportunity to hear what patients and providers have to say. Here are a few examples. M. President, one patient called her visit to a Planned Parenthood to get a pap smear a ‘lifesaver.’ Another wrote ‘Young people like me rely on Title X for access to family planning services at the provider of our choice.’ A mother and sister from Nevada told the Trump Administration ‘I too have sisters and four daughters. We are capable, adept, and able to make decisions for ourselves.  We want to make informed decisions…withholding information is misinformation and manipulation.’ And M. President, county health officials and health care providers repeatedly urged the Administration that this rule would: ‘interfere in the doctor-patient relationship’ and was ‘an infringement on the ethical principles that medical providers adhere to,’ with potentially ‘irreversible’ impacts in struggling communities.”

 

“People across the country—women, men, doctors, city and county health officials, religious groups, and advocates told this Administration as it was developing this rule, that they did not want to see providers at Title X barred from giving them medically sound information, or have patients be denied access to providers they trust at Planned Parenthood because Republicans think they know better.  But M. President, the final rule the Trump Administration released shows they ignored those who know personally how much it matters to have unbiased, quality care at Title X centers—including at Planned Parenthood. Well, M. President—Republicans might have ignored these voices—but Democrats aren’t going to.”

 

“People in this country overwhelmingly agree that women should be able to get birth control—that no matter how much money you make or where you live, you should be able to get a cancer screening that could save your life—and yes, that women should be able to exercise their constitutional right to safe, legal abortion.  So today, I challenge Republicans to read the memo I’m releasing. Listen to the women and men this rule hurts and the people working to help them get the care they need. And then, join Democrats in standing up against this dangerous, unethical step backward.”

 

Video of Sen. Murray’s speech available HERE.

 

Please see the full text of Sen. Murray’s speech below.

 

“Since day one of the Trump Administration, Republicans have done everything they can to cater to their extreme right-wing base, by undermining women’s access to health care they need, and health care providers they trust.

 

“They’ve moved to roll back requirements that insurance companies include birth control as an essential health benefit—which would mean millions of women would go back to paying extra for birth control on top of their coverage.

 

“They’ve held votes on extreme abortion bans that would get in between a woman and her doctor.

 

“They’ve jammed the courts—even the Supreme Court—with partisans who have made clear they share the extreme and frightening goal of overturning Roe v. Wade, and taking away a woman’s constitutional right to safe, legal abortion in the United States of America. 

 

“And most recently—the Trump Administration has put forward a deeply harmful rule that would: jeopardize access to affordable reproductive health care for the millions of women and men who depend on Title X, our nation’s family planning program, which has historically had bipartisan support.

 

“If this rule goes into effect, providers at health centers that receive Title X funding will be blocked—gagged—from even telling patients about where and how to get a safe, legal abortion as part of a discussion of reproductive health care options.

 

“And the rule would impose new, medically unnecessary requirements that would make it impossible for Planned Parenthood centers—which serve 41 percent of Title X patients—to continue to participate.

 

“Four million people—disproportionately young people, low-income women, and women of color—go to Title X-funded centers—including Planned Parenthood centers—for birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, STD tests and more each year.

 

“And this rule puts care they depend on in jeopardy.

 

“M. President, Republicans here in the Capitol may have no idea what it would mean for patients to lose access to the providers they trust and the affordable care they need.

 

“But that’s not because those patients—and their doctors and communities—weren’t speaking up. They were.

 

“People across the country—women, men, doctors, city and county health officials, religious groups, and advocates told this Administration as it was developing this rule, that they did not want to see providers at Title X barred from giving them medically sound information, or have patients be denied access to providers they trust at Planned Parenthood because Republicans think they know better. 

 

“But M. President, the final rule the Trump Administration released shows they ignored those who know personally how much it matters to have unbiased, quality care at Title X centers—including at Planned Parenthood.

 

“Well, M. President—Republicans might have ignored these voices—but Democrats aren’t going to.

 

“That’s why today I’m releasing a memo highlighting statements from people across the country that were submitted in strong opposition to this rule.

 

“I want to make absolutely sure Republicans have every opportunity to hear what patients and providers have to say.

 

“Here are a few examples.

 

“M. President, one patient called her visit to a Planned Parenthood to get a pap smear a ‘lifesaver.’

 

“Another wrote ‘Young people like me rely on Title X for access to family planning services at the provider of our choice.’

 

“A mother and sister from Nevada told the Trump Administration ‘I too have sisters and four daughters. We are capable, adept, and able to make decisions for ourselves.  We want to make informed decisions…withholding information is misinformation and manipulation.’

 

“And M. President, county health officials and health care providers repeatedly urged the Administration that this rule would: ‘interfere in the doctor-patient relationship’ and was ‘an infringement on the ethical principles that medical providers adhere to,’ with potentially ‘irreversible’ impacts in struggling communities.

 

“M. President, since apparently it needs to be said on the Senate floor, I’d like to remind my Republican colleagues that what these patients, health care providers, and community leaders are saying about the importance of a woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions is not controversial.

 

“People in this country overwhelmingly agree that women should be able to get birth control—that no matter how much money you make or where you live, you should be able to get a cancer screening that could save your life—and yes, that women should be able to exercise their constitutional right to safe, legal abortion.

 

“So today, I challenge Republicans to read the memo I’m releasing.

 

“Listen to the women and men this rule hurts and the people working to help them get the care they need.

 

“And then, join Democrats in standing up against this dangerous, unethical step backward.

 

“Because M. President, right now it’s pretty clear that once again, Republicans want to make women’s health a political battlefield instead of a serious priority.

 

“But let me be clear: Democrats are going to keep standing up for a woman’s right to the care that is right for her.

 

“We are going to continue to stand up for women’s access to affordable birth control—for women’s constitutionally protected rights—and against those who want to put politicians in the doctor’s office where they do not ever belong.

 

“And if that’s a fight Republicans want to have, we are ready—and so are people across the country like the brave ones who spoke out against this harmful rule.

 

“Thank you and I yield the floor.”

 

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