Photo of Senator Looney.

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

Representing New Haven, Hamden & North Haven

Following Trump's Attack on Planned Parenthood, Senate Democrats' Plan to Fund Women's Health Care Moves Forward

HARTFORD – Today, the Human Services Committee voted to advance one of Senate Democrats' foremost priorities this legislative session, Senate Bill 4, "An Act Concerning Increased Funding to Planned Parenthood and Other Family Planning Clinics." If approved, the legislation would close a funding gap caused by President Donald Trump's changes to the Title X Family Planning Program. The vote to raise the bill by the Human Services Committee was required for the bill to receive a public hearing. All Democratic members of the Human Services Committee supported the bill but it was opposed by five Republicans on the committee.

"Today's decision by Republicans to vote 'no' to raise Senate Bill 4 further underscores that they are in lockstep with President Trump," said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). "President Trump's gag order on Title X funding was an assault on women's health care. As a caucus, Senate Democrats made it a priority to provide state funding to Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics to counter this loss of federal funding. Despite the lack of Republican support, we will continue to fight so that women receive the essential healthcare they need and put forward policies that fight back against the disgraceful agenda of the White House and those in the legislature that support it."

"Unfortunately, it should surprise no one that Connecticut Republicans voted no to raise Senate Bill 4, a bill that would increase funding to Planned Parenthood and Title X family planning clinics," said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). "In anticipation of a reduction in federal funding, Senate Democrats have been steadfast in ensuring that women have access to the necessary healthcare services. It's unfortunate that only one party supports providing funding and access to healthcare and family planning, but this is the reality of living in Donald Trump's America. Regardless of Republican inaction, Senate Democrats will continue to advocate on behalf of women in Connecticut to protect and provide funding to family planning clinics across the state. We know that healthcare is a right and no one should have the power to deprive individuals of the services they need – not even the President of the United States."

In response to a gag order issued by the Trump administration prohibiting health care providers from counseling patients about abortion, Planned Parenthood announced it will no longer receive Title X funding to avoid it. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, which operates 12 health clinics in Connecticut, would forego $2.1 million in federal funding under that rule, about 5 percent of its budget. While 20 states are challenging the gag order, a federal appeals court ruled the policy changes can take effect despite the lawsuits.

Senate Bill 4 would fill the funding gap, providing state Title X family planning clinics in Connecticut with an additional $2.4 million in funding.

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England statistics show that nearly 44,000 patients received services and support through Title X funding in 2017. One-third of those patients were under the age of 25, one-third of those patients earned less than $12,000, one-third were Latino and one-third were African American.

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