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“I am really stunned, and I am angry as a woman, that we have come to this after weeks of negotiating on numbers, where we have in principle an agreement on numbers, that there are those in the Republican Party in the House who are willing to shut down the government, take people’s paychecks away from them, because they want to deny women access to health care in this country.”—Senator Patty Murray (Democrat, Washington) (Abortion Dispute Complicates Budget Negotiations - NYTimes.com)
“Where the divide is right now is on taxes and whether the wealthiest Americans should share in the sacrifice that all of us have to make. That's the decision. It's what we are waiting for.”—Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington, one of the co-chairs of the deficit supercommittee, making clear that with just 5 days left before the deadline to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, Democrats and Republicans are still deadlocked over the same basic point.
I Stand With Planned Parenthood: Response from Patty Murray
As you’re probably aware, Planned Parenthood and other sexual health services are under attack in the Senate right now. They are debating legislation that would bar Planned Parenthood from all federal funding (which was already passed in the House, scarily enough) — and harm millions of women in the process. This legislation would cut off funding that provides women with birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, HIV testing, and more. It’s care that saves lives — and anti-choice politicians want to end it entirely.
I’ve been trying to do my part to support Planned Parenthood, by signing petitions, donating to the cause, and keeping updated with e-mail alerts. One of the recent e-mail alerts I’ve received from Planned Parenthood included a link to a letter to my local Senate representatives to encourage them to vote NO on any legislation that targets Planned Parenthood and women’s health services. I sent one along to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, including my own personal history of using Planned Parenthood’s health services to be a healthy and responsible sexually active adult.
This morning, I received the following response from Senator Murray:
Dear Ms. Watson:
Thank you for contacting me to share your support for women’s reproductive rights. It was good to hear from you.
One of my top priorities as a Senator – and as a mother – is to ensure that all women in this country are able to make decisions about their bodies and their health. I believe the government must not interfere with a woman’s private decisions, and it is imperative that Congress remains vigilant in protecting this right.
In the 112th Congress, anti-choice Members of both chambers have introduced a number of bills that would place dramatic restrictions on reproductive health services. These bills would endanger women’s health by severely limiting their access to affordable reproductive health services. It would prohibit women from using their own personal funds to buy insurance that covers abortion, as well as raise taxes on businesses that offer abortion coverage in their insurance plans. In addition, the House Republicans’ proposed budget for the remainder of the fiscal year would completely eliminate Title X funding for family planning and teen pregnancy prevention.
This assault on women’s health is wrong and would be truly devastating if actually enacted. It is an extreme agenda that restricts health care options for women and does nothing to further our goals of getting our economy back on track. I have worked in my leadership position, as well as a senior member of both the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to fight against these attacks. Cutting off these important programs and services would be absolutely wrong and I will continue to do everything I can in the Senate to fight it.
I believe that in these tough times our focus should be on getting the economy back on track and people back to work, not putting insecurity back into the lives of millions of women. It is time that we move our economy forward, and not pull women’s health care backwards.
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this important issue. I want to assure you that I will continue to monitor all anti-choice legislation that comes before the Senate. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=GetEmailUpdates.
Please keep in touch.
United States Senator
*sniff* I’ve never been so proud. Thank YOU, Patty Murray, for standing on guard for women’s health services, and for the sexual health of men, women, and teens in this country.