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Holding the Line to Protect Some Programs, But Defunding Others Important to Women and their Families

April 14, 2011

(Washington, D.C.)  Today the House of Representatives and Senate approved the FY 11 budget that funds the government through September and cuts $38 billion from federal spending.  The House also approved two stand-alone resolutions—to defund the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—but the Senate rejected both.

The following is a statement by NWLC Co-Presidents Nancy Duff Campbell and Marcia D. Greenberger:

“We thank President Obama and his congressional allies for holding the line in the budget debate to safeguard some programs vital to women and their families,” said NWLC Co-President Nancy Duff Campbell.  “We are pleased that funding for Head Start will increase, allowing an additional 60,000 low-income children to receive a valuable jumpstart to their education.  And we are pleased that funding continues for critical family planning services that millions of women depend on for their contraception and preventive health care screenings.  Unfortunately, however, these actions came at a high price: the budget forbids the District of Columbia from using its own local tax dollars to help low-income women get access to abortion services they need, putting an already vulnerable population at increased risk. And the budget includes cuts to health, education and human services programs that will be detrimental to women and their families.”

“It’s shameful that the House Republican majority would jeopardize the health and safety of women across the country with their votes to defund Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act,” said NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger.  “Seventeen million women rely on Planned Parenthood each year for their basic health care, and without it many would have nowhere else to turn.  And without the health reform law, insurance companies could once again treat women like pre-existing conditions and drop them when they get sick and need health care the most.

“Especially now, in this tough economy and with mounting concern about looming deficits, it also defies logic to defund a law that will hold down health costs and dramatically increase the number of people securing affordable coverage.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repeal of the health law would increase the deficit by $230 billion over ten years and leave 32 million people uninsured.  We thank the Senate for defeating these two measures.”

 

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