As one of the nation’s leading advocates and providers of women’s health care, including reproductive health services, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) applauds U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for authoring a resolution (S.Res.187, full text below) condemning violence against women’s health care providers and honoring the late Dr. George Tiller, who was shot to death at his church on Sunday, May 31.
“We applaud Senators Shaheen, Boxer and Klobuchar for standing up for women’s health care providers and introducing a resolution condemning violence against them,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards. “The tragic loss of Dr. Tiller was deeply felt by all of us. He provided critical reproductive health care services to women facing some of the most difficult medical circumstances.”
The resolution highlights Dr. Tiller’s death as the latest in a trend of violent incidents against women’s health care providers, and condemns the use of violence as a means of preventing women from receiving reproductive health care. The resolution calls for Congress to end this trend by “recognize[ing] that acts of violence should never be used to prevent women from receiving reproductive health care” and “condemn[ing] the use of violence as a means of resolving differences of opinion.”
“Our goal is to ensure that women can access the care they need from health care providers without either party living in fear of verbal intimidation or physical attack,” said Richards. “We stand with Senators Shaheen, Boxer and Klobuchar and all the co-sponsors in their commitment to protecting women and the providers who care for them.”
The Senate resolution was sponsored by Senators Shaheen, Boxer, and Klobuchar. It was co-sponsored by Senators Murray, Durbin, Dodd, Schumer, Lautenberg, Mikulski, Landrieu, Gillibrand, Harkin, Carper, Sanders, Kaufman, Wyden, Kerry, Lieberman, Tom Udall, Levin, Brown, Whitehouse, Burris, Mark Udall, Stabenow, Baucus, Cantwell, Bingaman, Inouye, Cardin, Specter, Johnson, Feingold, Leahy, Tester, Snowe, Begich, Akaka, Bennet, Feinstein, Warner, McCaskill, Reed, Kennedy, Lincoln, and Merkley.
Shaheen, Boxer, Klobuchar Denounce Obstruction of Resolution
Condemning Violence Against Women’s Health Care Providers
Senators were urged to eliminate references to reproductive health
(Washington, DC) – Following the recent tragic shooting death of Dr. George Tiller, a reproductive health care provider in Kansas, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) authored a non-controversial resolution condemning the use of violence against providers of women’s health care services. The resolution faced objection by some colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and the Senators were urged to eliminate references to women’s reproductive health care in order to unanimously pass the resolution. Shaheen, Boxer, and Klobuchar introduced their original resolution, which was co-sponsored by an additional 43 Senators.
“I realize that the issue of reproductive choice is divisive and that there are many heartfelt feelings on both sides of the aisle,” said Shaheen. “However, I was hopeful that, regardless of our differences of opinion on this sensitive issue, the Senate could come together and pass a resolution that rejects the use of violence against women’s health care providers. It is a sad day when the elected leaders of the greatest Democracy on earth can’t agree to protect those exercising their constitutional rights.”
“Everyone has the right to work for changes in the law, but there is no place for violence in any of our debates,” said Boxer. “To assault a health care worker, a patient or anyone else because of a disagreement about an issue, regardless of how contentious, brings all of humanity down into a dark pit of violence.”
“As a former prosecutor I have seen how acts of violence can tear apart communities,” said Klobuchar. “No matter how heated the debate or how great our differences, violence is never the answer. Supporting a bipartisan bill that denounces the use of violence is basic common sense and we need to pass this without further delay.”
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning violence in places of worship. Shaheen, Boxer and Klobuchar were asked adopt the House language in the Senate, but decided to move forward with their resolution, as they feel condemning violence against women’s health care providers and agreeing not to use violence as a means of resolving differences are not objectionable viewpoints.
The Senate resolution was sponsored by Senators Shaheen, Boxer, and Klobuchar. It was co-sponsored by Senators Murray; Durbin; Dodd; Schumer; Lautenberg; Mikulski; Landrieu; Gillibrand; Harkin; Carper; Sanders; Kaufman; Wyden; Kerry; Lieberman; Tom Udall; Levin; Brown; Whitehouse; Burris; Mark Udall; Stabenow; Baucus; Cantwell; Bingaman; Inouye; Cardin; Specter; Johnson; Feingold; Leahy; Tester; Snowe; Begich; Akaka; Bennet; Feinstein; Warner; McCaskill; Reed; Kennedy, Lincoln; and Merkley.
The full text of the resolution follows:
Condemning the use of violence against providers of health care services to women.
Whereas Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas was shot to death at church on Sunday, May 31;
Whereas there is a history of violence against providers of reproductive health care, as health care employees have suffered threats and hostility in order to provide crucial services to patients;
Whereas the threat or use of force or physical obstruction has been used to injure, intimidate, or interfere with individuals seeking to obtain or provide health care services; and
Whereas acts of violence are never an acceptable means of expression and always shall be condemned: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate---
(1) Expresses great sympathy for the family, friends and patients of Dr. George Tiller;
(2) Recognizes that acts of violence should never be used to prevent women from receiving reproductive health care; and
(3) Condemns the use of violence as a means of resolving differences of opinion.
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