Catholic State Leaders Urge Congress to Take a Stand on Planned Parenthood
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Today, over 60 Catholic state leaders and legislators from 25 states banded together in a full-page back-cover ad in the Washington Post urging Congress to preserve federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The statement draws on Catholic social justice and tells representatives in Congress that defunding Planned Parenthood would give the least among us even less.
The ad imagines a world without Planned Parenthood: “Where a mother in Chicago works extra shifts to pay for groceries, but can’t afford contraception. Where a woman in the Appalachian hills takes several buses to a clinic, only to be told she cannot have her procedure and must come back. Where a woman in Tupelo with a family history of cervical cancer can’t go to a reliable health center for yearly Pap smears. Where a boy in Utica isn’t offered sex education at his school and cannot turn to a quality healthcare provider for information or services when he contracts an STI.”
“These Catholic leaders and legislators we spoke to strongly believe that Congress can protect the people in their states who will suffer most,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “It is critical that leaders in Congress listen to the reality and opinions of people in the states—the majority of whom who believe Planned Parenthood is essential. Congress must reject the dangerous and irresponsible lobby that would take a crucial healthcare provider like Planned Parenthood away from some of the poorest people in the United States.”
This week, Congress will consider legislative measures to continue funding the federal government until December. A group of conservative members have publicly insisted that they will block any measure that includes funding for Planned Parenthood. Additionally, the House of Representatives will consider a separate measure allowing states to exclude Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from Medicaid. Congress must pass legislation to fund the government before 11:59 pm on September 30 in order to avoid a government shutdown.
Congress should listen to these state leaders: funding Planned Parenthood embraces real Catholic values and is the right thing to do.Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.