Representatives Louise M. Slaughter (NY-28) and Diana DeGette (CO-1) today issued a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Chairman Denny Rehberg, blasting House Republican Leadership for efforts to eliminate funding for Title X programs. Title X provides federal funding for lifesaving preventive health screenings, HIV testing and vital family planning programs. Clinics funded by Title X are often the only source of care for lower income Americans and families. Title X helps improve the health of men and women, prevents unintended pregnancies and improves health and wellness outcomes for children.
"It appears that my Republican colleagues are repeating their assault on low income Americans and women," said Slaughter. "Once again, they are shamelessly attacking Title X programs, which fund lifesaving healthcare and family planning services for millions of Americans. Republican Leadership has placed a bulls eye on low income nutritional programs, public education, quality healthcare and affordable housing -- all vital human needs. They continue to advance an agenda that cripples the American poor and middle class, while preserving giveaways for large corporations, big oil and the wealthiest 2% of Americans."
"Unfortunately for the women of America, it looks like it's Alice in Wonderland time again, and we've all fallen down the rabbit hole," said DeGette. "In the proposed Labor-HHS appropriations bill, once again House Republican Leadership is attempting to strip American women of their access to health care. Their extreme agenda now would completely end Title X funding, jeopardizing the ability of over five million Americans to access family planning, breast cancer screening, HIV testing, and other critical health services. Yet over the past several months, we've repeatedly heard many Republicans actually celebrate that anyone can access affordable contraception at our nation's many family planning clinics; the very clinics they're now trying to defund. Today we call on our colleagues to clarify exactly where they stand and hopefully get us out of Wonderland."
House opponents of federal funding for preventive health screenings, HIV testing and family planning programs through Title X continue to quote erroneous and overblown "facts" on the impact and costs of Title X. While Title X served more than 5.2 million patients in 2010, House opponents have alluded to universal availability of contraception. Others have indicated that the U.S. spends billions on allowing for free access to contraception when, in fact, Title X funding for 2012 is actually $293.9 million. After making all these claims about the availability of contraception to bolster their argument about not providing it through the Affordable Care Act, they have now done an about face in targeting access to vital services by attempting to zero out the funding."