Effort to Prevent Planned Parenthood Defunding Defeated on Party-Line Vote
Washington, DC – At the Energy & Commerce Committee’s overnight markup of the GOP bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Chief Deputy Whip, tried to prevent Republicans from continuing their relentless attack on women’s reproductive health care. DeGette introduced an amendment with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to strike a provision in the American Health Care Act that would defund Planned Parenthood.
"Republicans are endangering people across the country by arbitrarily tacking Planned Parenthood defunding onto their ill-conceived repeal bill,” said DeGette. "For many women, Planned Parenthood is the only available source of health care. More than half of its centers are located in areas that are short on health professionals. Instead of working on a bipartisan basis to increase access to care for women and men in their communities, the purported objective of this bill, Republicans have chosen to score political points with anti-choice extremists. This is especially egregious in the context of Affordable Care Act repeal, which will cause the loss of insurance for millions of Americans and drive up costs for the rest."
House Speaker Paul Ryan vowed in January to graft onto the ACA repeal bill a provision to block access to Planned Parenthood health centers. The organization offers an array of preventive care, including screenings for breast cancer and maternal health services, and federal law already guarantees that no government funding supports the abortion counseling and related services that some of its clinics provide. DeGette’s first amendment to the bill, introduced after midnight, would have eliminated Section 103 of the American Health Care Act, which deprives Planned Parenthood health centers of federal Medicaid funding for one year. The amendment was defeated on a party-line vote at 2:30 a.m.