AAUW Ohio testifies at hearing on defunding Planned Parenthood
Testimony on House Bill 487
Before the House Finance and Appropriations Committee
The Hon. Ron Amstutz, Chair
By Karen Rainey, AAUW/Ohio Public Policy Advocate
April 18, 2012
Chairman Amstutz and members of the committee:
My name is Karen Rainey, and I am speaking for AAUW Ohio, representing 1,500 members in 44 branches throughout Ohio. Since 1881, AAUW (formerly known as the American Association of University Women) has been one of the nation’s leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW’s members-adopted public policy program makes increased access to quality, affordable health care and family planning services a priority.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two leading causes of death for women in America by far are heart disease and cancer—afflictions that can often be prevented if women have access to preventive care services, including screenings, such as mammograms and pap smears.
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation decided to strip funding for cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood, our national organization distanced itself from the Komen Foundation, and withdrew a community service opportunity to work with the Race for the Cure as an activity for college women attending its national leadership conference. In doing so, our national executive director stated, “This is an opportunity for AAUW to demonstrate leadership on a vital women’s health issue: cancer screenings and mammograms for poor and underserved women. Taking a stand now is an excellent example of what the leadership conference is all about: empowering college women as leaders and informed decision makers.” The cancellation press release noted that AAUW is disappointed that some are playing politics with women’s health and jeopardizing care for the most vulnerable among us.
Here in Ohio, AAUW expresses the same disappointment that Ohio legislators would play politics with women’s health. It is AAUW’s position that family planning fosters self-sufficiency, promotes preventive health care, and educates people on ways to protect themselves and their families from the spread of sexually transmitted infections. We know that Planned Parenthood provides these services to women who would not be served if Planned Parenthood were not there for them.
We respectfully ask that you remove the provisions that would defund Planned Parenthood from this bill.
Read news coverage about this issue:
- Ohio House Republicans move to defund Planned Parenthood, The Plain Dealer
- Planned Parenthood funding in jeopardy, Columbus Dispatch
- Ohio Bill Would Defund Planned Parenthood, ABC6OnYourSide.com
- Ohio Bill Could Cut Planned Parenthood Funds, Ms. Magazine