December 20, 2012 — Last month, "Americans went to the polls and rejected an extreme agenda that would have blocked women from getting cancer screenings, family planning, and basic health care," Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards writes in The Hill's "Congress Blog." "[T]he message voters sent couldn't have been clearer: stop playing politics with women's health," she adds.
Nonetheless, some lawmakers "haven't gotten the message," Richards writes, noting that negotiations to avert the "fiscal cliff" could "threaten the health care that millions of women rely on." She explains, "If the fiscal cliff's mandatory budget cuts take effect, funding for the nation’s family planning program, Title X, would be at risk." Medicaid could also be at risk in the negotiation, she adds.
Richards continues that Title X and Medicaid are not "faceless government programs -- they're the way that millions of low-income women get breast cancer screenings, Pap tests, birth control, diabetes screenings and other health care." In addition, women "would find it significantly more difficult to get affordable birth control" without the programs.
PPAF launched its "largest campaign ever" this election "for one reason and one reason only -- because women's health was at stake," Richards writes, adding that the group intends to "ensure that lawmakers follow the will of the voters" (Richards, "Congress Blog," The Hill, 12/18).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership