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Wyden, Merkley oppose Planned Parenthood defunding


Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., spoke on the Senate floor before Monday’s vote in which the Senate rejected removing federal funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that the senator said provides many vital women’s health services.

Wyden’s full remarks can be found below. Video of Wyden’s remarks can be found here .

“This weekend I watched the Planned Parenthood videos that are in the news, including one in which the organization’s leadership says very clearly that statements made by some of their staff are unacceptable. That’s important for everyone to hear.

“With that said, here’s the enormous danger with the legislation before the Senate today. This bill paints a big, red target on some of the most basic, essential health care services for women in America.

• Birth control – gone

• Pregnancy tests – gone

• Prenatal services – gone

• HIV tests – gone

• Breast cancer screenings – gone

• Cervical cancer screenings – gone

• Ovarian cancer screenings – gone

• Vaccinations that prevent cancers – gone

• Treatment for urinary tract infections – gone

• Testing and treatment for sexually-transmitted infections – gone

• Basic physical exams – gone

• Treatment for digestive or breathing problems – gone

• Treatment for chronic conditions – gone

• Pediatric care – gone

• Adoption referrals – gone

• Nutrition programs – gone

• Referrals to hospitals and specialists – gone

“When you wipe out Planned Parenthood’s funding, you dramatically and painfully reduce women’s access to services that have absolutely nothing to do with abortion.

“This bill will take away the guarantee that Medicaid patients have their free choice of doctors in the program. And the people this bill will hurt the worst are poor women who have nowhere else to turn.

So I urge my colleagues to drop this misguided campaign. Instead of restricting women’s access to health care, let’s work on a bipartisan basis to improve it.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., released the following statement after the U.S. Senate on Monday night defeated an effort to defund Planned Parenthood:

“Millions of women across America – including more than 60,000 each year in Oregon – rely on Planned Parenthood as an essential health care provider.

“Defunding Planned Parenthood means fewer women with access to lifesaving cancer screenings. It means fewer women being tested and treated for HIV and other serious diseases. And it means fewer women with access to reliable contraception and family planning — ultimately increasing unintended pregnancies and abortions.

“It’s good news that tonight’s attack on women’s health care failed, but sadly we know there will be more to come.

“Already, some Republicans are suggesting that we shut down the government rather than allow Planned Parenthood to continue providing essential health care in communities across the nation.

“We cannot allow this destructive, partisan brand of politics to prevail over common sense. I’ll keep standing up against attempts to defund women’s health care,” Merkley concluded.

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