Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Representing the First District of Colorado
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DeGette Leads Effort Condemning the President’s Anti-Women’s Rights Agenda

May 1, 2017
Press Release
Effort comes 100 days after historic women’s marches around the globe

Washington, DC – Today, Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) led 149 members of the House of Representatives in denouncing President Trump’s policies toward women’s health and women’s rights during the first 100 days of his administration. This effort also comes nearly 100 days after the National Women’s March, where millions of people across the country and around the globe marched to protect women’s rights. The congressional leaders are encouraging the president to listen to this groundswell and stop ignoring the voices of the American people.

“During the relatively short time since your inauguration, women and their families have been under a constant and unprecedented attack,” wrote the congressional leaders. “Decades of progress on women’s health and their rights have been rolled back under your leadership, with even standard Republican policies taken to a whole new and devastating extreme.”

The letter highlights the many actions taken by the Trump Administration that negatively impact women’s right and their health:

-Depriving Planned Parenthood of federal funds

-Repealing the Affordable Care Act with legislation that would gut maternity care

-Reinstating and expanding the Global Gag Rule targeting organizations that work on U.S.-funded health programs overseas

-Eliminating U.S. funding to United Nations Population Fund

-Appointing anti-choice Cabinet members, including the Attorney General and Secretary of Health and Human Services 

-Promising to Nominate a Supreme Court Justice who could put Roe v. Wade at risk

-Eliminating important protections in Title X, the nation’s family planning program

-Gutting the Ten Pregnancy Prevention Program for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017

“These attacks have led to women and men across the country turning out in record numbers at town halls, calling their members of Congress, and engaging in the legislative process like never before,” the House members wrote.  “Your administration can no longer ignore this groundswell. It should instead begin to listen to the voices of the American people.” 

 

The full text of the letter is included below and available online here

 

May 1, 2017

The Honorable Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

Washington, DC  20510 

 

Mr. President,

 

One hundred days ago, women, men, and families across this country and around the globe marched for fairness and equity for all people in historic numbers. Fears of attacks on women’s health and the fundamental rights so many women value led to this historic march. Sadly, just 100 days into your administration, many of these fears have already become reality.

 

During the relatively short time since your inauguration, women and their families have been under a constant and unprecedented attack.  Decades of progress on women’s health and their rights have been rolled back under your leadership, with even standard Republican policies taken to a whole new and devastating extreme. As Members of Congress committed to advancing health and economic security, we find it especially unacceptable that your administration has prioritized the following actions:

 

“Defunding” Planned Parenthood:  Even though you have acknowledged the critical role of Planned Parenthood health centers in providing access to basic health care, your administration has caved to the most extreme anti-women’s health special interests by supporting “defunding” Planned Parenthood.  Should you succeed, countless women who rely on Medicaid will be blocked the provider of their choice, which is often the only safety net provider available where they live.

 

  • Attempting to Repeal the Affordable Care Act: Your administration continues to support repeated attempts to advance the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This legislation would devastate our health system and rip coverage away from 24 million people. Those lucky enough to maintain coverage would be forced to pay more for less, as premiums and deductibles climb while benefits decline.  The most recent version of AHCA includes provisions that would harm women and their families specifically, such as by making it virtually impossible for private insurers to cover comprehensive reproductive health care and gutting maternity care.

 

  • Global Gag Rule: Your administration reinstated an expanded version of the harmful global gag rule, targeting organizations who work on any U.S.-funded global health program, including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, and Zika programs.  These groups are now banned from all global health funding from the U.S. government if they also happen to provide counseling, referrals, or services or advocate for safe and legal abortion – even with their own funding. This action will be catastrophic for communities abroad, especially those relying on U.S. funding to address HIV/AIDS, maternal health care, and the fight against Zika.

 

  • Eliminating U.S. Funding to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): Your administration followed up on the devastating impact of the widening of the global gag rule by eliminating all U.S. funding to UNFPA, one of the most wide-reaching and vital sources of child and maternal health and contraceptive in the world.  UNFPA works in more than 150 countries to facilitate safe births, protect girls from child marriage and female genital mutilation, and provide access to voluntary contraception for women and men. In more than 100 of these countries, USAID does not operate a family planning program, rendering UNFPA’s presence even more crucial.

 

  • Appointments that Jeopardize Women’s Health: The recent confirmation of your Attorney General and Secretary of Health and Human Services are the most high-profile examples of you working to stock the government with anti-choice voices committed to rolling back the protections women have fought hard for over recent decades. With a historically high amount of vacancies still persistent across the government, we fear that additional appointments will be made that could further erode women’s health and rights.

 

  • Confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice who puts Roe v. Wade at Risk: You repeatedly promised to nominate someone to the U.S. Supreme Court who would support overturning Roe v. Wade. We have no reason to believe you changed your mind when you nominated now-Justice Gorsuch.  His confirmation—achievable only after your allies in the Senate changed longstanding rules to put him on the bench with only a majority, party-line vote—comes at a time when seven in 10 Americans support a woman’s constitutionally-protected right to choose.

 

  • Attacks on Title X Family Planning: You signed a resolution behind closed doors that eliminated important protections in Title X, the nation’s family planning program.  These protections that you eliminated clarified that health centers could not be prohibited from serving people under Title X for arbitrary or politically-motivated reasons that are unrelated to their ability to provide high-quality care. This resolution threatens access to birth control for four million people who depend on Title X.

 

  • Budget Priorities: Though we haven’t yet seen your full budget priorities for FY 2018, your proposal for the remainder of FY 2017 would gut the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, a cost effective sex education program for young people that has been proven to reduce sexual risk behaviors, thus contributing to reductions in teen pregnancy.

 

These attacks have led to women and men across the country turning out in record numbers at town halls, calling their members of Congress, and engaging in the legislative process like never before. Your administration can no longer ignore this groundswell. It should instead begin to listen to the voices of the American people. 

 

If your administration began to listen to the people it represents, then you would reverse your harmful agenda and start to prioritize women's access to health care, employment opportunities, and education domestically and around the world.  We call on the Trump administration to do just that, and put the lives of women and working families ahead of ideological and partisan attacks.

 

Sincerely,

 

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