Congresswoman Lee Defends Planned Parenthood at Budget Committee Markup
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a senior member of the House Budget Committee, delivered remarks at yesterday's markup denouncing cuts to Planned Parenthood in Republicans' health care plan. Below are her remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Here we are again with a bill that attacks women and women's access to comprehensive health care.
"By defunding Planned Parenthood for one year, this disastrous bill leaves millions of women out in the cold.
"Shamefully, this bill would prevent millions of women from accessing critical health care services such as cancer and STI screenings, and contraceptive care.
"Even worse, more than 390,000 women would lose access -- and up to 650,000 women could face reduced access -- to preventative health care.
"Defunding Planned Parenthood is not just dangerous to the health of millions of individuals, but it would also hurt our nation's economic security.
"According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), defunding Planned Parenthood would increase direct federal spending by $156 million over the next ten years.
"What's worse -- CBO found that defunding Planned Parenthood would lead to more unintended pregnancies -- not less.
"Enough is enough.
"We know that Planned Parenthood is one of the nation's leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women and their families.
"In 2014 alone, Planned Parenthood provided critical health care services to 2.5 million patients, more than 360,000 breast cancer exams, and 270,000 pap tests.
"In my home state of California, Planned Parenthood served 776,000 women in 2014, 89 percent of which were women on Medicaid.
"Denying access to healthcare providers such as Planned Parenthood will hurt women who need these services the most: low-income women and women of color.
"Madam Chairman, this is a shame and a sham!
"We need to call bill what it is -- yet another ideological attack on women's health care."
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees, Vice Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, former co-chair of the Progressive Caucus and a Senior Democratic Whip. She also serves as chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity.