March 30, 2017

Senator Maggie Hassan Speaks on Senator Floor on Importance of Title X and Supporting Family Planning Providers

Senator Maggie Hassan Speaks on Senator Floor on Importance of Title X and Supporting Family Planning Providers

Speech Highlights Harmful Impact Rolling Back Access to Family Planning & Preventative Health Services Would Have on Thousands of Granite Staters


Senator Hassan speaking on the Senate floor.

WASHINGTON - Reaffirming her commitment to ensuring that all Granite Staters have meaningful access to the health care services that they need, Senator Maggie Hassan spoke on the Senate floor today to voice her opposition to a measure that would allow states to discriminate against Title X family planning providers and cut off resources from family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood.

The Senate is scheduled to have a final vote on the measure today, which would repeal an Obama Administration rule requiring that grants under the Title X program be made on the basis of providers' ability to administer services, not partisan politics.

Senator Hassan has long fought for a woman's right to make her own health care decisions and to control her own destiny. As Governor of New Hampshire, Senator Hassan restored family planning funds and pushed to restore state funding to Planned Parenthood.

Key Quotes from Senator Hassan's speech:

  • "To compete economically - on a level playing field - women must be able to make their own decisions about if or when to start a family. They should not have to pay more than men for health care, and they should be able to visit providers of their own choice who understand their health care needs."
  • "Title X has support from Granite Staters because they have seen the real difference it has made in their lives and in the lives of their neighbors. They know that in some parts of the state there are no other options, or if other options do exist, that they don't provide women with the same expertise and commitment to reproductive health care that Title X providers do."
  • "Last year, more than 4 million women and men at over 4,000 health centers across our nation received care through Title X. This includes around 20,000 patients in New Hampshire - including roughly 11,000 patients receiving care through Title X-supported Planned Parenthood centers."
  • "It is critical that we have a health care system that ensures that all women and their families can get the care that they need. What we cannot do is eliminate services and discriminate against providers who have been providing critical, cost-effective health care for millions of Americans for decades. I strongly oppose this effort to undermine the Title X program, and will vote against this measure today."

Click here for video or see below for full text as prepared for delivery:

M. President, I rise today in opposition to the Congressional Review Act measure which would allow discrimination against Title X family planning providers, which in turn could roll back access to family planning and preventative health services for women and their families in New Hampshire and across our country.

M. President, throughout my time in public service, I have always fought to ensure that women have meaningful access to the health care that they need. I've fought to ensure that they can make their own health care decisions, and control their own destinies.

To compete economically - on a level playing field -women must be able to make their own decisions about if or when to start a family. They should not have to pay more than men for health care, and they should be able to visit providers of their own choice who understand their health care needs.

And to fully participate not only in our economy, but also in our democracy, women must be recognized for their capacity to make their own health care decisions - just as men are.

And they must also have the full independence to make their own health decisions - just as men do.

During my time as the Governor of New Hampshire, I restored family planning funds and pushed to restore state funding to Planned Parenthood.

And I am going to continue fighting to ensure that women have the care they need, while standing firm against efforts here in Congress to roll back the progress that has been made.

Unfortunately, M. President, the vote we are taking today is a continuation of a partisan agenda that has been focused on restricting the care that women and their families can receive.

And the fact that Vice President Mike Pence was called in to cast the deciding vote to advance this measure shows just how far Republican leadership will go in order to undermine women's access to critical health services.

For more than 40 years, Title X has provided women and their families with comprehensive family planning and preventative health services. When the legislation was originally passed in 1970 - it was a part of a bipartisan effort, with the support of prominent Republicans.

In the years that have followed, Title X has been essential in delivering important services to some of our nation's most underserved communities.

That's why in New Hampshire, Title X and Planned Parenthood still have broad support in our communities, even if they have been the subject of political gamesmanship in Washington.

Title X has support from Granite Staters because they have seen the real difference it has made in their lives and in the lives of their neighbors. They know that in some parts of the state there are no other options, or if other options do exist, that they don't provide women with the same expertise and commitment to reproductive health care that Title X providers do.

For those in rural communities, for low-income women - and men, and for members of the LGBTQ community - Title X-supported health centers have been a major source of preventive care and reproductive health services, including cancer screenings, birth control, HIV and STI tests, and counseling services.

And Title X's important public health services translate into savings for taxpayers. In 2010, Title X investments resulted in net savings for federal and state governments of $7 billion dollars.

The measure we are voting on today would undermine this progress and a safety net for countless citizens.

This measure would allow states to discriminate against providers and take away investments in family planning clinics -- ultimately taking away these key services from those who need them most.

Last year, more than 4 million women and men at over 4,000 health centers across our nation received care through Title X. This includes around 20,000 patients in New Hampshire - including roughly 11,000 patients receiving care through Title X-supported Planned Parenthood centers.

Those services can't just be replaced by other providers, even Community Health Centers - which do great work. But two counties in New Hampshire don't have a community health center at all. Others do not have the capacity to replace this work - or the specialized experience that can make a critical difference to a woman's health.

In New Hampshire - and other states - Planned Parenthood and the Community Health Centers are often partners, working in tandem to get patients the reproductive health care they need. But when I hear from Community Health Centers around New Hampshire - they tell me that they would not be able to pick up the slack if Planned Parenthood is defunded.

M. President, make no mistake about it: this CRA, which would let states discriminate against providers in the Title X program, combined with the consistent attempts to defund Planned Parenthood by some in Congress, would be a disaster for women in New Hampshire and all across the nation.

That is why a number of leading advocates have come out against these efforts to overturn Title X regulations, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, the Human Rights Campaign, and dozens more.

I share their concerns - and oppose the measure we will consider today. And I am going to continue to fight against these attempts to roll back access to reproductive health and preventative services.

M. President, it is critical that we have a health care system that ensures that all women and their families can get the care that they need. What we cannot do, is eliminate services and discriminate against providers who have been providing critical, cost-effective health care for millions of Americans for decades.

I strongly oppose this effort to undermine the Title X program, and will vote against this measure today.

We need just one more vote - and I urge my colleagues to listen to the voices of their constituents, and vote no today.

Thank you.

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