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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Representing the 1st District of Washington

Members of Congress Invite Ivanka Trump to a Meeting on Women’s Health Issues in the Trump Administration

May 18, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Judy Chu (CA-27), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Jackie Speier (CA-14) sent a letter to Ivanka Trump inviting her to a meeting on women’s health issues, including access to affordable contraception.

“Given your stated passion about women’s issues and empowerment, we found your silence during the House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) surprising,” the six House members wrote.  “AHCA is a disastrous bill for women and their families, threatening access to pregnancy care, maternal and newborn services, breast cancer screenings, and contraception. … Given your influence over these issues in the White House, we respectfully request an in-person meeting.”

In joining her father’s administration, Ms. Trump has said she intends to be a voice for women’s empowerment, especially for working women. Family planning, including contraception, is essential for many women balancing work and family, as Ms. Trump has. But as the letter points out, this Administration’s policies could put millions of women in the United States at risk of unintended pregnancies.

The signers of this letter have requested a meeting with Ms. Trump by May 26, to talk about the important role contraception plays in fulfilling her stated goal of economically empowering women.

The full text of the letter is below and can be found online here.

Dear Ms. Ivanka Trump,

As Members of Congress who care deeply about women’s health, we invite you to meet with us and engage in a constructive discussion about the importance of preserving access to affordable birth control and other forms of contraception for women across the country. 

Given your stated passion about women’s issues and empowerment, we found your silence during the House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) surprising.  AHCA is a disastrous bill for women and their families, threatening access to pregnancy care, maternal and newborn services, breast cancer screenings, and contraception.  President Trump also recently signed a law threatening access to contraception and other basic health services for the four million women and men who rely on Title X, the only federal program dedicated solely to family planning.  Again, we were disappointed that you did not voice concerns about this step in the wrong direction for women.

Unfortunately, we fear that the Administration may take additional steps in the very near future that will further jeopardize women’s access to contraception.  Language in Executive Order 13798, issued on May 5th, 2017, strongly suggests the order will be used to deny women birth control due to the beliefs or attitudes of their employers. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) currently requires health plans to provide women birth control with no additional cost-sharing.  Approximately 43 million women in the United States—70 percent of women of childbearing age—may experience an unintended pregnancy if they lose reasonable access to contraception. In order to have the family size that works best for them, many women may need to use contraception for decades. Some women also need contraception for other health reasons, like excessive menstrual bleeding, pain, or acne. We therefore believe that it is essential to preserve access to contraception for the millions of American women who rely on it to plan their lives. 

The looming threat to contraception access created by the recent Executive Order presents another chance for you to make your voice heard on this critical issue.  As a busy mother of three, you understand the importance of a woman’s ability to plan for herself and for her family.  Given your influence over these issues in the White House, we respectfully request an in-person meeting prior to May 26, 2017 to discuss the important role contraception plays in ensuring the success of America’s women and families.

Sincerely,

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