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State Senator

Gary Winfield

Representing New Haven & West Haven

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Looney, Winfield Pledge to Right Trump’s Wrongs and Fund Planned Parenthood

Senate Democratic Caucus Vows to Protect Women’s Health Care & Offset Loss of Federal Title X Funding

HARTFORD, CT – Today, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven), Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven), and a group of Democratic state senators said the Senate Democratic caucus will protect women’s health care and provide state funding for Planned Parenthood in Connecticut in order to defend the organization from President Donald Trump’s attack. The dozen Planned Parenthood clinics in Connecticut are now operating under a Trump-ordered gag rule that prohibits them from providing referrals for legal abortion services.

Health care advocates say President Trump’s changes will lead to a decline in the quality of patient care and may force some clinics to close their doors. Federal Title X funding in Connecticut for Planned Parenthood amounts to about $2.1 million per year.

In a letter to Office of Policy and Management Commissioner Melissa McCaw, Democratic senators asked to work with Commissioner McCaw to find this funding within the state’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget. In addition, the Senate Democratic caucus plans to make the provision of funding to offset President Trump’s attack on women’s health a major priority in adjusting the Fiscal Year 2021 budget in the next session.

“There appears to be no limit to the number of ways in which the Trump-Pence administration seems determined to harm women, people of color, and the poor regarding access to essential health care,” Sen. Looney said. “Of course over the past two years we have witnessed the president exhibit a callous disregard for tradition and protocol when it comes to decorum in the Oval Office, and now we see that same contempt directed at a half-century old policy of federal funding for women’s health care. Every day brings some new, disgraceful, and frightening attack on America and its citizens.”

“Thousands is women rely on Clinic’s like Planned Parenthood for their healthcare needs,” said Sen. Winfield. “Stripping away their funding is an attack on women’s rights and threatens the lives of women across the country and in our communities. I’m glad we’ll be taking steps to find a solution to this problem and I’m hopeful that we will fund Planned Parenthood, allowing women to access the healthcare they need.”

For more than 40 years, federally funded Title X family planning clinics across America have ensured access to a broad range of family planning and related health services for millions of low-income or uninsured individuals, including breast and cervical cancer detection, screening and treatment; treatment for sexually transmitted diseases; HIV testing, and contraception.

But President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence recently pushed for a change to Title X Funding that prohibits Title X health care providers from counseling patients about abortion. The rule was announced in February, and it is currently being challenged in court in 20 states. A federal appeals court ruled last month that the Trump-Pence policy changes can take effect even as those lawsuits are pending.

In 2019, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England -- which operates 12 health clinics in Connecticut -- received $2.1 million in federal Title X funding (about 5% of its total budget).

In Connecticut in 2017, nearly 44,000 patients received services through Title X funding; about a third of those patients were women under the age of 25, about a third earned less than $12,000 a year, a third were Latino and a third African-American.

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