ACLU Stands With Planned Parenthood And District Of Columbia, Tells Congress To Stop Assault On Women's Health

April 8, 2011 7:04 pm

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WASHINGTON – With Congress and the Obama administration working to come to an agreement on funding the federal government this week, it is widely reported that the congressional effort to defund Planned Parenthood is one of the issues causing an impasse. House leadership is pushing to eliminate all federal funding to Planned Parenthood Federation of America which would deny millions of men and women essential reproductive health care services.

Also at issue is an attempt to prevent Washington, D.C. from using its own locally raised funds to pay for abortion care for low-income women. Other states are permitted to use non-federal revenues to provide abortion coverage for low-income women; the proposed ban singles out D.C. for special treatment. On Thursday, the House passed a one week continuing resolution that contained such a ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union condemned both Thursday’s provision and the attempts to defund Planned Parenthood.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“Using this budget debate to hold women’s health hostage is unfair, unreasonable and unnecessary. The effects of defunding Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services will fall most heavily on vulnerable populations who need this care most. The House leadership’s effort to hamstring the District’s self-governance is equally shameful. The D.C. abortion ban tramples on low-income women’s ability to access abortion services, and utterly disregards the needs of the impacted community.

“These deeply misguided provisions will irreparably endanger women’s access to safe, reliable reproductive health care. Congress must end this unprecedented assault on women’s health.”

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