Civil and Human Rights Coalition Defends Funding for Women’s Health Services

Categories: Health Care, News

The civil and human rights community is urging the Senate to vote down legislation that would cut all funding to Title X programs, which was passed by the House of Representatives today. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence, R. Ind., is part of the FY2011 Continuing Resolution, which would fund the federal government through the end of September.

“Health care for all persons in the United States is a fundamental human right that should not be denied for ideological posturing,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “Senators from both parties must now act to protect family health for millions across the country.”

Title X of the Public Health Service Act, signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, provides vital health care services to millions of women and girls, particularly those with lower incomes and without health insurance.  These services include:

  • pelvic exams and Pap tests, important for early detection of cervical cancer;
  • breast exams and instruction on breast self-examination;
  • testing for high blood pressure, anemia, and diabetes;
  • screening and appropriate treatment for sexually transmitted infections; and
  • basic infertility screening.

In a letter to the House, The Leadership Conference called the amendment “a direct attack on women’s health care and the organizations that provide it,” like Planned Parenthood, which is the sole provider of Title X services in some states. Planned Parenthood is one of the more than 200 national organizations that are members of The Leadership Conference.

The letter states:

“The Leadership Conference believes strongly that health care for all persons in the United States is a fundamental human right. As such, we believe that organizations that provide quality health care services in a cost-effective manner, particularly in low-income communities, deserve broad public support… Loss of the critical health services it provides would have a severely adverse impact on the life and health of people of color and their families, as well as low-income families regardless of color.”