We're in the middle of an unprecedented attack on women. Rep. Peter Roskam, Rep. Randy Hultgren, and other politicians in Washington, D.C., just spent three months going after Planned Parenthood and women's health care. Planned Parenthood health centers are essential. In Illinois, over 60,000 patients walk through their doors every year for reproductive health care; cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, abortion care and well-person exams. It's not up to politicians to tell women where they can't go for health care.
Legislation that "defunds" Planned Parenthood -- one of the most common attacks -- is particularly cruel. And, "defunding" Planned Parenthood will do nothing to stop abortions. Federal law already blocks any federal funds Planned Parenthood receives from going to abortion services. "Defunding" Planned Parenthood means that people who rely on federal safety net programs such as Medicaid or Title X -- those who are already struggling to get by -- can no longer turn to Planned Parenthood for health care.
Planned Parenthood has been a trusted provider of care for over 100 years. For a lot of people, Planned Parenthood is the only place they can go to get the care they need, so why would Congress want to take that away? Other providers simply can't "take on" Planned Parenthood patients. Many places don't even have providers who have all the services Planned Parenthood offers. Women don't go to Planned Parenthood to make a political statement; they go because they need health care. I plan to continue to fight to ensure that they do not take away our health care.