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Keith Ellison

Democrat - Incumbent

Voting Record

Attacks on Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood is America’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate. Every year, Planned Parenthood delivers education and reproductive health care services to five million men, women, and young people worldwide. These essential health care services include screenings for breast and cervical cancer, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, including testing for HIV/AIDS, and comprehensive sex education. However, in recent years, Planned Parenthood’s ability to continue to provide these vital services has been under attack at the federal and state levels. This resolution based on an amendment originally authored by Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) seeks to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds, including Medicaid reimbursements for family planning services and funding for critical primary and preventive care. It would result in 1.4 million Medicaid patients — predominantly women — losing access to their health care providers and would severely hinder Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide quality family planning services and lifesaving preventive care in states across the country. (These funds are already prohibited by federal law from being used to provide abortion services.) A vote AGAINST this amendment was a vote in support of women’s health. The resolution passed the House 241–185.
Health Care for Low Income Women
The federal government provides critical funding for family planning and preventive care programs in America and abroad. Millions of women and families depend upon federally funded programs, such as the Title X Family Planning Program, for their health care needs. The federal Title X Family Planning Program provides lifesaving, preventive care to millions of women every year and saves taxpayers money. Title X services prevent nearly one million unintended pregnancies every year, and for every public dollar invested in family planning, nearly $4 is saved in Medicaid-related costs. In 2009, Title X providers performed 2.2 million Pap tests, 2.3 million breast exams, and over six million tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including nearly a million HIV tests. The enactment of the FY11 Continuing Resolution would result in millions of women across this country and abroad losing access to basic primary and preventive care. The FY11 Continuing Resolution completely eliminates the Title X Family Planning Program. The FY 11 Continuing Resolution also restricts Planned Parenthood from receiving all federal funds (per the Pence amendment) and eliminates the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, which provides funds to community-based organizations throughout the country to help address America’s teen pregnancy rate. The bill reinstates the ban on the District of Columbia’s ability to use its locally raised tax revenue to help low-income women access safe and legal abortion. The bill would effectively cripple organizations working to provide lifesaving care to the most vulnerable populations around the world. It contains deep cuts to international family planning funding, including eliminating U.S. contributions to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The bill also reinstates the Bush-era global gag rule. All in all, the FY11 Continuing Resolution is an assault on women’s health care programs and women’s health care providers. A vote AGAINST the FY11 Continuing Resolution was a vote in support of women’s health. The FY11 Continuing Resolution passed the House 235–189.
Prohibiting Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Health Insurance and Raising Taxes on Women and Small Businesses
The federal government and some state governments bar public funds from being used to pay for abortion for women. In 1976, Congress first passed the Hyde amendment which bans federal funding of abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or if the pregnant woman’s life is in danger. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), the author of H.R. 3, claimed that the bill was a simple reinstatement of the Hyde amendment and would make it permanent. But in reality the bill goes much further and would result in an unprecedented new restriction on women’s access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market. Today, the majority of private health insurance plans offer comprehensive coverage that includes abortion. But this bill would take private comprehensive abortion coverage away from women — even in circumstances where a woman needs an abortion to prevent severe, permanent damage to her health. And the Smith bill could raise taxes on individuals and small businesses that have comprehensive private health insurance that includes abortion coverage. A vote AGAINST H.R. 3 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill passed 251–175.
Prohibiting Comprehensive, Medically-Accurate Education and Training for Health Professionals
Our nation is focused on addressing provider shortages and advancing medial training programs, including training for abortion care. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is the leading entity responsible for ensuring medical training programs prepare physicians for real-life medical procedures. While federal law and ACGME standards ensure residents will not have to perform abortions if they object, they do stipulate that abortion training should be included in medical education programs for obstetrics and gynecology. An amendment sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) to H.R. 1216 would create an unprecedented prohibition on new medical training grants under section 749 of the Public Health Service Act from being used for training in the provision of abortions. The amendment would also prohibit entities that receive the medical training grants from ensuring that their patients have access to all the information about their health care options. Alarmingly, this provision has no protections for the patient herself. This is an unprecedented restriction on health care entities’ ability to train medical professionals to adequately meet women’s health care needs and could severely limit physicians’ ability to serve their patients. A vote AGAINST the Foxx amendment was a vote in support of access to safe and legal abortion. The amendment passed 234–182.
Undermining the Full Range of Women's Health Services
Planned Parenthood Action Fund believes that in all cases, women should have access to a full range of health care services and health care professionals should have discretion in determining the best treatment for their patients. Currently, federal law prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, which the Planned Parenthood Action Fund strongly opposes. Unfortunately, some elected officials continue to pursue legislation that goes even further than this existing ban. This includes an amendment to H.R. 2112, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, sponsored by Representative King (R-IA), which states that none of the funds made available by the act may be used for medication abortion for any purpose. Mifepristone was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000, following a thorough scientific review of its safety and efficacy. Since its approval, more than 1.4 million women in the United States have used this safe and effective method for ending a pregnancy. In fact, since it was first licensed in 1988, women in 40 countries around the world have safely used mifepristone. Rep. King’s amendment is not about restricting federal funds from being used to pay for abortion since federal law already prohibits that use; instead, it is an attempt to establish a far-reaching precedent that would not only undermine women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health services but also would jeopardize continuity of care for patients and even the ability of the FDA to conduct routine oversight of mifepristone. This amendment sets a dangerous precedent for patient safety. Representative King’s amendment is yet another attempt to use the legislative process to politicize women’s health and undermine access to abortion — a safe, constitutionally protected medical procedure in this country. A vote AGAINST the King amendment was a vote in support of access to safe and legal abortion. This amendment passed 240–176.
Endangering Women's Lives By Eliminating Patient Protections And Undermining Health Benefits For Women
Planned Parenthood Action Fund believes that in all cases, women should have access to a full range of health care services, including abortion, and health care industry employees should not be able to impose their personal beliefs on patients in need of lifesaving care. But the so-called “Protect Life Act” (H.R. 358), introduced by Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA), is a dangerous assault on women’s health that would undermine new benefits for women under health reform as well as eliminate long-standing patient protections in emergency situations. First, H.R. 358 would undermine women’s access to comprehensive health insurance coverage. Today, most private health insurance plans include abortion, and under health care reform, millions of women will be able to purchase insurance through state health exchanges. Many of these women will receive partial federal assistance to help them purchase coverage. But H.R. 358 would amend the new health care law so that these women could not purchase health insurance plans that cover abortion. In addition, H.R. 358 would threaten one of the most popular new benefits for women under the health reform law by allowing states to enact “refusal laws” that would allow insurance companies to refuse to cover women’s preventive services, including birth control, without cost-sharing. Further, H.R. 358 would expand “refusal” provisions that allow hospitals, health care facilities, and insurance companies to refuse to even refer a woman for abortion. Most dangerously, this bill would weaken the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), a federal law passed in 1986 to ensure that hospitals would provide emergency care to a patient in a life-threatening situation regardless of citizenship, legal status, and ability to pay. Shockingly, the Pitts bill would eliminate this critical protection if a woman needed an abortion to save her life. A vote AGAINST H.R. 358 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill passed 251–172.
Intruding on the Doctor-Patient Relationship and Criminalizing Health Care Professionals
Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) introduced H.R. 3541, an over-reaching bill that claimed to address sex discrimination but was really an effort to restrict reproductive health care and represented a dangerous intrusion in the doctor-patient relationship. Planned Parenthood Action Fund opposes and condemns sex selection motivated by gender bias, but this bill would not have done anything to address that issue. In fact, this bill took aim at the very communities it said it would help. This vague bill would have had a chilling effect on women and health professionals exercising their constitutional rights for fear of harsh criminal penalties and would have promoted profiling of women seeking abortions. Doctors would have been reluctant to practice medicine out of fear of being falsely charged under this bill or having to defend against frivolous lawsuits from a woman’s husband or other family members because they opposed her decision to end a pregnancy. Politicians have no place interfering in the doctor-patient relationship, and this bill would have prevented doctors and other health professionals from informing patients about all their health care options. Doctors should not be criminalized for providing a constitutionally protected medical procedure. The Franks bill was a dangerous attack on health care. The intent of the bill’s supporters was clear — they wanted to make it as difficult as they could for women seeking abortion, and they wanted to scare physicians away from providing this constitutionally protected procedure. A vote AGAINST H.R. 3541 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill required at least two-thirds of the House to vote in favor in order to pass, but it failed to reach this threshold by a vote of 246–168.
Banning Abortion after 20 Weeks in the District of Columbia
Representative Trent Franks introduced H.R. 3803, called the "DC 20 Week Abortion Ban," which would ban all abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks with very limited exceptions. H.R. 3803 denies a woman access to an abortion, even if she would experience severe, dangerous health complications as a result of her pregnancy or in cases of rape or incest. It would also subject a doctor to criminal penalties for performing a safe, legal medical procedure. Additionally, H.R. 3803 broadens the typical attack on District residents and the District’s ability to self-govern by restricting access to safe and legal abortion after 20 weeks, regardless of how they are paid for. Further, the only duly-elected representative for the District was denied the opportunity to testify on behalf of her constituents against this dangerous legislation. A vote AGAINST H.R. 3803 was a vote in support of access to safe and legal abortion The bill required at least two-thirds of the House to vote in favor in order to pass, but it failed to reach this threshold by a vote of 220–154.
(113th Congress) Banning Abortion After 20 Weeks Nationwide
Representative Trent Franks introduced H.R. 1797, a nationwide 20-week abortion ban, which is a variation on his almost identical proposal for DC introduced in January 2012, and which would ban all abortions from 20 weeks nationwide with little room for exception. The Franks abortion ban is a harmful measure that would impose unconstitutional limits on abortion prior to viability for women across the country. H.R. 1797 denies a woman access to an abortion, even if she experiences severe, dangerous health complications as a result of her pregnancy. Furthermore, it is clearly unconstitutional, and is a blatant attempt to challenge Roe v. Wade at the expense of women’s health. Before H.R. 1797 came to the house floor, language was added to the bill that would require a survivor of rape or incest to prove that she reported the crime to police or other law enforcement bodies before accessing an abortion, further shaming women in vulnerable situations. In addition, H.R. 1797 would also subject a doctor to criminal penalties – up to five years in jail – for performing a safe and legal medical procedure. A vote AGAINST H.R. 1797 was a vote in support of nationwide access to safe and legal abortion. The bill passed with a vote of 228-196.
Taking Away Critical Women’s Preventive Health Benefits
On September 29, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment to the FY2014 continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59) offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to take away critical women’s preventive health services millions of women have today thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Under the Blackburn amendment, employers and health insurance companies could have stopped providing coverage for important women’s preventive health services — including well-woman exams, HPV testing to prevent cervical cancer, domestic violence screening and counseling, and birth control — on the basis of religious or moral convictions. The Blackburn amendment would have cut off millions of hardworking families from quality, affordable health coverage by delaying the Marketplace and Medicaid expansion by one year. The amendment fails to accomplish any fiscal goals, as the federal government set aside the funds to provide subsidies and Medicaid coverage to those who will gain coverage under the law. Moreover, the Blackburn amendment would have suspended important consumer protections. The Affordable Care Act levels the playing field by prohibiting plans from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions and ensuring that women are not charged more than men for coverage. Simply put, Rep. Blackburn was playing politics with our health. In an act of political theater, Rep. Blackburn put her own agenda ahead of the needs of millions of women and their families. A vote AGAINST this amendment was a vote in support of women’s health. The motion passed 231–192 but did not go into effect.
Undermining Abortion Access In Health Care Plans
On January 28, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 7, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), the deceptive and misleadingly named “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2014”. H.R. 7 was another dangerous assault on women’s health and a harmful attempt to take away the comprehensive private health insurance coverage millions of women have today. The bill would take away important tax benefits from American families, including existing tax deductions and premium tax credits to help pay for the cost of health care, simply because they choose private health insurance that includes abortion. It would also deny small businesses the opportunity to claim existing deductions and the Small Business Tax Credit simply because they offer their employees comprehensive health insurance coverage that includes abortion. Further, H.R. 7 threatens women’s health by denying access to the insurance coverage she needs — even when her health is at risk. This legislation would harm women at home and abroad because it does not allow any exceptions for women to get the coverage they need when their health is in danger, even in circumstances where a woman needs an abortion to prevent severe, permanent damage to her health. Supporters of this bill claim that it is nothing more a simple reinstatement of the existing law that prevents federal funds from going toward abortion except in extremely rare cases — itself a harmful law that should be repealed because it prevents women from having access to a safe and legal medical procedure, especially low-income women. In truth, H.R. 7 goes even further and ultimately would have resulted in the elimination of abortion coverage in the private and public insurance markets. A vote AGAINST this bill was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill passed 227-188 but did not go into effect.
Restricting Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Plans
The federal government and some state governments bar public funds from being used to pay for abortion for women. In 1976, Congress first passed the Hyde amendment which bans federal funding of abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or if the pregnant woman’s life is in danger. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), the author of H.R. 7, claimed that the bill was a simple reinstatement of the Hyde amendment and would make it permanent. But in reality the bill goes much further and would result in an unprecedented new restriction on women’s access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market. In addition, this bill also seeks to mislead women about their health insurance options by requiring insurers to single out abortion coverage. However, this provision is not truly about plan transparency – it is part of a larger ideological attempt to politicize women’s health care and restrict access to safe and legal abortion by healthcare stigmatizing plans that offer abortion coverage. Today, the majority of private health insurance plans offer comprehensive coverage that includes abortion. But this bill would take private comprehensive abortion coverage away from women — even in circumstances where a woman needs an abortion to prevent severe, permanent damage to her health. And the Smith bill could raise taxes on individuals and small businesses that have comprehensive private health insurance that includes abortion coverage. A vote AGAINST H.R. 7 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill passed 242–179.
Limiting Young People's Access to Information About The Full Range of Reproductive Health Care Options
Neugebauer Amendment to Student Success Act (HR 5) This amendment, incorporated into a more broad procedural provision, seeks to prohibit School Based Health Centers (SBHCs) from performing, providing referrals for – or information about – abortion services, limiting young women’s access to information about the full range of reproductive health options. Introduced by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), this amendment goes further than current law, which already limits young women’s access by prohibiting SBHCs from performing abortion, by prohibiting SBHCs from providing abortion-related materials, referrals, or directions to abortion services to young people. Moreover, the amendment would restrict a SBHC health care professional from providing young women with critical information even in emergency or life-threatening situations. A vote AGAINST H. Res. 125 was a vote in support of women’s health. The amendment passed 234–184
Allowing D.C. Bosses to Discriminate Against Employees For Their Reproductive Health Care Decisions
Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 In January 2015, newly sworn in Mayor Muriel Bowser (D-District of Columbia) signed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA) into law following its unanimous passage by the D.C. Council. This law, among other things, prevents employers operating in our nation’s capital from discriminating against workers based on their personal reproductive health care decisions. For instance, the law prevents firing an employee for using birth control, having an abortion, or using in vitro fertilization. Because of the District of Columbia’s unique status of being a federal district rather than a state, once a bill is signed into law by the Mayor it must be transmitted to Congress where Representatives and Senators have 30 days to review the legislation. If they disapprove of the law, Congress can pass a resolution essentially voiding the actions of the locally elected council and mayor. H.J. Res. 43, introduced by Congressman Diane Black (R-Tennessee), would strike this locally enacted law from the books and put women working in the District of Columbia back at risk of being fired simply because their boss doesn’t agree with a private reproductive health choice she has made. A vote AGAINST H.J. Res. 43 was a vote in support of women’s health. The resolution passed 228–192
(114th Congress) Banning Abortion After 20 Weeks Nationwide
On January 6, 2015, the same day the 114th Congress convened for the first time, Congressman Trent Franks (R-Arizona) introduced the deceptive and misleadingly named “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act” which would ban all abortions at 20 weeks with very limited exceptions. H.R. 36 denies a woman access to an abortion, even if she experienced severe, dangerous health complications as a result of her pregnancy. It would also subject a doctor to criminal penalties for performing a safe, legal medical procedure. This is the second time House Leadership has pushed a vote on this bill since January, having failed the first time due to objections from within the Republican caucus to a requirement for rape victims to report the incident before accessing abortion. House Leadership claimed to have “fixed” the bill, while in fact making it worse. The new version adds significant barriers for rape victims seeking safe and legal abortion – potentially requiring three separate appointments with two separate health care providers over the course of 48 hours. This bill also shames survivors of incest by denying them an exception if they are over the age of 18 and continues to require a woman under the age of 18 to report to law enforcement or a government agency before they can receive safe and legal abortion. A vote AGAINST H.R. 36 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill passed the House with a vote of 242-184.
Amendment to Strike Unfair And Unrelated Abortion Restrictions From the 21st Century Cures Act
On July 10, 2015, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-California) proposed an amendment to the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6), that would have removed a harmful provision - commonly referred to as the Hyde Amendment - which restricts the use of federal funds from paying for abortion care except in the case of rape, incest or life. Congresswoman Lee’s amendment would have stricken language which applies any policy riders included in the annual Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Bill to National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds in the 21st Century Cures Act, including the Hyde Amendment. Removing this language would help ensure that women have access to the full range of health care options to meet their health care needs. Additionally, the Lee Amendment would have stricken a provision that applies any policy riders - again including the Hyde Amendment - applied to the FDA in the annual Agriculture Appropriations bill to FDA funding in H.R. 6. A vote FOR the amendment was considered a vote in support of women's health. The amendment failed the House with a vote of 176-245.
Deceptive Funding Resolution to Cut Federal Funding for Planned Parenthood
This resolution, offered by Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Alabama), is a continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown by keeping the government funded through December 11, 2015. The Roby Resolution also seeks to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds, including Medicaid reimbursements for family planning services and funding for critical primary and preventive care. It would result in 1.5 million Medicaid patients — predominantly women — losing access to their health care providers and would severely hinder Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide quality family planning services and lifesaving preventive care in states across the country. It should be noted, the Hyde Amendment — which Planned Parenthood opposes — already prohibits these funds from being used to provide abortion services. Planned Parenthood is America’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate. Every year, Planned Parenthood delivers education and reproductive health care services to 2.7 million men, women, and young people across the United States. These essential health care services include screenings for breast and cervical cancer, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), including testing for HIV/AIDS, and comprehensive sex education. However, this year Planned Parenthood’s ability to continue to provide these vital services has been under attack by the vehemently anti-choice Congress elected in 2014. A vote AGAINST H. Con. Res. 79 was a vote in support of women’s health. The resolution received a vote of 241-185.
Undermining Patient Right to Choose Their Own Health Care Provider
On September 11, 2015, Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) introduced the misleadingly named Women’s Public Health and Safety Act (H.R. 3495). H.R. 3495 would target and exclude abortion providers from participating in Medicaid and result in restricting access to health care for low-income individuals. This legislation unfairly targets women’s health providers or a provider who “participates in the performance of abortions” and specifically seeks to undermine the long-standing Medicaid policy that allows patients to choose the provider of their choice and would permit a state to unilaterally (without involvement from a federal health agency) terminate or restrict a provider from participating in Medicaid – without having to show any proof that the provider engaged in wrongdoing. In fact, this bill would permit a state to terminate a provider from Medicaid solely on the basis that the provider provides access to safe and legal abortion. A vote AGAINST H.R. 3495 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill passed with a vote of 236-193.
Defund Planned Parenthood Act
On July 21, 2015, Congressman Diane Black (R-Tennessee) introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act (H.R. 3134). This bill would have prohibited any federal funds from being made available to Planned Parenthood affiliates or health centers, which would significantly limit the quality, compassionate care that 2.7 million women, men and young people have come to rely on for nearly 100 years. The legislation would have blocked funding Planned Parenthood health centers from continuing to provide basic and preventive health care needs such as: lifesaving cancer screenings, well-woman exams, birth control, and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). The men and women who benefit from this funding often have limited access to health care, and Planned Parenthood is often their primary health care provider. A vote AGAINST H.R. 3134 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill passed with a vote of 241-187.
Injecting Politicians into the Doctor-Patient Relationship
On September 15, 2015, Congressman Trent Franks (R-Arizona) introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504), a blatant attempt to politicize women’s health. The true goal of supporters of the H.R. 3504 is to promote a political agenda of banning safe, legal abortion in the United States. This bill would amend current law to apply new criminal penalties and severely overreach into the practice of medicine. This legislation specifically targets abortion and injects politicians into the patient-physician relationship, disregarding providers’ training and clinical judgment and undermining their ability to determine the best course of action with their patients. The rigid set of requirements the legislation places on physicians is meant to intimidate abortion providers from providing women with the care they need. A vote AGAINST H.R. 3504 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill passed the House with a vote of 248-177.
Congressional Attacks on Planned Parenthood
On October 7th, 2015 the House took up a resolution sponsored by Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) targeting Planned Parenthood health centers and the patients they serve. This blatantly political attack on women’s health would create a special select subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to investigate abortion and abortion providers. Although the resolution does not specifically name Planned Parenthood, supporters of the Foxx Resolution repeatedly justified the need for the committee by referencing Planned Parenthood and a series of heavily edited videos attacking Planned Parenthood which have been discredited by forensic experts. This resolution is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to push an anti-abortion and anti-women’s health agenda. This new select committee is yet another example of a partisan and unwarranted attack on Planned Parenthood. A vote AGAINST the Foxx Resolution was a vote in support of women’s health. The resolution passed with a vote of 242-184.
Continued Attacks on Planned Parenthood
On October 16, 2015, Congressman Tom Price (R-Georgia) introduced the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762), legislation that would eliminate Planned Parenthood’s ability to receive reimbursement for the health care services provided under Medicaid and other federal programs and would roll back the important and historic gains made for women’s health by the Affordable Care Act. This bill initially passed the House in October 2015 and then a passed the Senate, with amendments, in December 2015. This vote was to concur with the Senate version of the bill and send it to President Obama. On January 8, 2016, less than 48 hours after the House passed the final version of H.R. 3762 President Obama followed through on his promise to veto the legislation. Planned Parenthood is America’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate. Every year, Planned Parenthood delivers education and reproductive health care services to 2.7 million men, women, and young people across the United States. These essential health care services include screenings for breast and cervical cancer, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), including testing for HIV/AIDS, and comprehensive sex education. However, this year Planned Parenthood’s ability to continue to provide these vital services has been under attack by the vehemently anti-choice Congress elected in 2014. It should be noted, the Hyde Amendment — which Planned Parenthood opposes — already withholds insurance coverage for abortion for low-income women. A vote AGAINST H.R. 3762 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill received a vote of 240-181.
Repealing the ACA and Defunding Planned Parenthood
On October 16, 2015, Congressman Tom Price (R-Georgia) introduced the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762), legislation that would eliminate Planned Parenthood’s ability to receive reimbursement for the health care services provided under Medicaid and other federal programs and would roll back the important and historic gains made for women’s health by the Affordable Care Act. While the legislation did not name Planned Parenthood, the bill stated any nonprofit entity that is: 1) defined as an essential community provider under the Affordable Care Act and is primarily engaged in family planning services, reproductive health; 2) provides abortion beyond limited circumstances; and 3) whose network exceeds $350 million in Medicaid billing reimbursements. This definition clearly seeks to exclusively target Planned Parenthood health centers. Planned Parenthood is America’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate. Every year, Planned Parenthood delivers education and reproductive health care services to 2.7 million men, women, and young people across the United States. These essential health care services include screenings for breast and cervical cancer, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), including testing for HIV/AIDS, and comprehensive sex education. However, this year Planned Parenthood’s ability to continue to provide these vital services has been under attack by the vehemently anti-choice Congress elected in 2014. It should be noted, the Hyde Amendment — which Planned Parenthood opposes — already withholds insurance coverage for abortion for low-income women. A vote AGAINST H.R. 3762 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill received a vote of 240-189.
Overriding Presidential Veto of Bill to Repeal ACA and Defund Planned Parenthood
On October 16, 2015, Congressman Tom Price (R-Georgia) introduced the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762), legislation that would eliminate Planned Parenthood’s ability to receive reimbursement for the health care services provided under Medicaid and other federal programs and would roll back the important and historic gains made for women’s health by the Affordable Care Act. This bill initially passed the House in October 2015 and then a passed the Senate, with amendments, in December 2015. The House concurred with the Senate on January 6, 2016. On January 8, 2016, less than 48 hours after the House passed the final version of H.R. 3762 President Obama followed through on his promise to veto the legislation. Following the President’s veto, on February 2nd the House attempted to override his veto. Overriding a presidential veto requires a ⅔ majority of those members present or 285 votes. This vote failed with a vote of 241-186. Planned Parenthood is America’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate. Every year, Planned Parenthood delivers education and reproductive health care services to 2.7 million men, women, and young people across the United States. These essential health care services include screenings for breast and cervical cancer, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), including testing for HIV/AIDS, and comprehensive sex education. However, this year Planned Parenthood’s ability to continue to provide these vital services has been under attack by the vehemently anti-choice Congress elected in 2014. It should be noted, the Hyde Amendment — which Planned Parenthood opposes — already withholds insurance coverage for abortion for low-income women. A vote AGAINST overriding President Obama’s veto was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill received a vote of 241-186.
Overturning Locally Enacted D.C. Law Protecting Employees Against Discrimination Based on Reproductive Health Decisions
On July 7, 2016, Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Alabama) proposed an amendment to the FY 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4385) in an attempt to allow bosses in the District of Columbia to interfere with their employees’ personal reproductive health care decisions. This amendment seeks to block Washington, D.C.’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA) which unanimously passed the D.C Council in December 2014 and was signed into law by Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) in January 2015. RHNDA protects women in the District of Columbia from workplace discrimination based on their personal reproductive health care choices. The Palmer Amendment would block this commonsense law passed by the democratically elected D.C. Council. Should the amendment become law, it would effectively overturn the D.C. bill providing protection for employees from being discriminated against or fired for their reproductive health care decisions. A vote AGAINST the amendment was considered a vote in support of women’s health. The amendment passed the House with a vote of 223-192.
Lifting Abortion Coverage Ban from the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program
On July 6, 2016, Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Florida) proposed an amendment (H. Amdt. 1233) to the Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill (H.R. 5485). The amendment would strike a policy rider from the initial bill that restricts abortion coverage for women who receive medical coverage from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Through lifting the restriction on abortion coverage, the Grayson Amendment insures that all federal employees have equal access to health care that other employed individuals receive in the private market. In lifting the abortion ban, the Grayson Amendment does not mandate abortion coverage for federal employees, however it permits FEHBP plans to cover abortion. Like employes in the private sector, federal employees contribute financially to their health care coverage. Medical coverage is commensurate to any other employment benefit, and no employer - which includes the federal government - should have the power to interfere with the private health care decisions of each individual employee. The Grayson Amendment would allow for federal employees to consider all options when planning for parenthood and essentially lift a significant barrier to women’s reproductive rights. A vote FOR the Grayson Amendment was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill received a vote of 177-245.
Expanding Harmful Anti-Women's Health Policies and Blocking Access to Care
On July 13, 2016, the House voted on H.R. 4828, the Conscience Protection Act, introduced by Congressman John Fleming (R-Louisiana). The bill aims to block women’s access to care through expanding harmful policies and allowing bosses to interfere in a woman’s personal medical decisions. This harmful legislation will continue to further strip away patient protections and permit others, including an employer’s boss, to override a woman’s personal medical decisions. The Conscience Protection Act will also allow bosses to interfere with a woman’s decision to have an abortion, while expanding existing harmful policies that permit hospitals to ignore medical guidelines, resulting in women receiving substandard, discriminatory care. A vote AGAINST the bill was considered a vote in favor of women’s health. The vote passed with a vote of 245-182-6.
Restricting Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Plans (115th Congress)
This House approved a bill, sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith (R-New Jersey), is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to take away the comprehensive private health insurance coverage that millions of women have and to make the Hyde amendment and other federal abortion bans permanent. This bill would eliminate abortion coverage for millions, make the harmful Hyde law permanent - impacting low income women and disproportionately affecting women of color - and undermine a woman’s ability to make personal decisions about her own health care. Since 1976 with the passage of the Hyde amendment, the federal government - as well as some states - have barred public funds from being used to pay for abortion procedures except in the case of rape, incest, or if the pregnant woman’s life is in danger. Not only would the law seek to make Hyde permanent, the bill goes much further and would result in an unprecedented new restriction on women’s access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market. Today, the majority of private health insurance plans offer comprehensive coverage that includes abortion. But this bill would take private comprehensive abortion coverage away from women — even in circumstances where a woman needs an abortion to prevent severe, permanent damage to her health. A vote AGAINST H.R. 7 was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill passed with a vote of 238-183.
Limiting Provider Access to Title X Family Planning Program
In December 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule protecting patient access to trusted reproductive health providers under the Title X program, the nation’s only family planning program. In response to state attempts to ban abortion providers from Title X, the rule reinforces that women’s health providers cannot be prohibited from serving people under the program for reasons that are unrelated to their ability to provide Title X care, including birth control and cancer screenings. This rule reiterates longstanding federal law and became effective on January 18, 2017. Introduced on January 30, 2017 by Congresswoman Diane Black (R-Tennessee), H.J. Res. 43 would nullify a Department of Health and Human Services rule regarding subrecipients of family planning grants, administered under the nation’s family planning program, Title X. While framed as a ‘states rights’ issue by proponents, this resolution is an attempt by Congressional leadership to embolden anti-women’s health state politicians to take away people's health care - specifically the 4 million people who rely on Title X for birth control and other care - despite the fact that Title X had helped to ensure more than 4 million people have health care in this country. Planned Parenthood strongly supports the Title X program and opposes any attempts to repeal or scale back the program. A vote AGAINST H.J. Res. 43 was a vote in support of women’s health. The resolution passed with a vote of 230-188.
Funding Congressional Committee to Attack Planned Parenthood
On December 1st, 2016 the House took up a resolution sponsored by Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-Michigan) seeking an additional $800,000 to continue funding the Select Panel established to target Planned Parenthood health centers and spread false, misleading information about Planned Parenthood. This funding comes from taxpayer dollars and will be used by Congress to continue their baseless attack and undermine medical and scientific research, women, and health care providers. When the Select Panel began in January, Planned Parenthood was already cleared by 13 state investigations and an additional eight states declined to even investigate. Planned Parenthood has fully complied with the request of these investigations and last year, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) admitted he didn’t find any wrongdoing. Despite no evidence of wrongdoing, the Panel has continued waste taxpayer’s money to the tune of $1.5 million during the first 11 months of 2016. Several government watchdogs and non-partisan groups representing millions of people have called for this panel to be disbanded. A vote AGAINST the Miller of Michigan Resolution was a vote in support of women’s health. The resolution passed with a vote of 234-181.
Eliminating Planned Parenthood's ability to receive reimbursement for the health care provided under Medicaid
The American Health Care Act or AHCA, sponsored by Congressman Diane Black (R-Tennessee), is yet another legislative attempt to block people who receive health coverage through Medicaid from accessing basic health care services at Planned Parenthood health centers. This bill would deny women, men, and young people access to the preventive care they deserve at the provider they choose. The AHCA completely undermines the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - the single greatest advancement for women’s health in generations. This bill would overhaul and gut the Medicaid program, which will have a disproportionate impact on low income people. It also attempts to restrict private insurance from covering abortion and is a blatant attempt to intimidate women’s health providers and block access to care. A vote AGAINST the AHCA was a vote in support of women’s health. The bill narrowly passed with a vote of 217-213.

PPAF is Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Learn more about Planned Parenthood Action Fund at www.plannedparenthoodaction.org.

Learn more about elections and voting from the Minnesota Secretary of State or at http://www.plannedparenthoodadvocate.org/.