Bloomberg Criticizes Proposed Cut to Planned Parenthood

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined other elected officials, as well as the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, on a conference call Tuesday to condemn provisions pending in Congress that would cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of Planned Parenthood’s budget, calling them detrimental to poor women and politically motivated.

“Let me start by being clear,” Mr. Bloomberg said, “they have nothing to do with fiscal responsibility or the budget deficit.”

Those cuts, passed by the House last week as part of the budget, would eliminate a $317 million program that provides family planning to low-income women. Planned Parenthood’s share of that money is $75 million.

In addition, the House passed an amendment, proposed by Representative Mike Pence, a Republican of Indiana, that would strip Planned Parenthood of all its federal financing. Taken together, Planned Parenthood says it would lose some 40 percent of its budget in the coming year.

Mr. Bloomberg, Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman of Connecticut spoke forcefully to more than 20 reporters from around the country on Tuesday, and enumerated the services that Planned Parenthood provides in their cities and states.

In New York City, Mr. Bloomberg said, Planned Parenthood performs 12,000 cervical cancer screening and 56,000 contraceptive visits every year.

Mr. Shumlin said that in rural parts of his state, Planned Parenthood is often the only health care women have.

“This is health care access that women rely upon,” he said, “not only to avoid unwanted pregnancies but to stay healthy and prevent disease.”

On the floor of Congress last week, Mr. Pence urged his colleagues to support his amendment.

“Some consider the Pence Amendment a ‘war on Planned Parenthood,’ but this is not about Planned Parenthood’s right to be in the abortion business,” he said. “This debate is about who pays for it. Only in Washington D.C. are you declaring war on an organization by simply refusing to pay for it with taxpayer dollars.”

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