Federal legislation to protect women’s health has been introduced by , to prohibit discrimination against health care providers participating in certain government programs from excluding services like contraception from coverage.
Specifically, Dold's bill introduced Wednesday would prevent institutions like hospitals and clinics participating in Title X from allowing some services and denying others. Title X was passed in 1970 providing preventive care to low-income women.
“This legislation is needed and timely,” Dold said. “We have seen in Congress and several states attempts to block funds to Title X participants. For over 40 years, Title X has provided access to contraception and health education to women.” He added that more than 70 percent are low-income.
According to a report in the Huffington Post on Wednesday, eight state legislatures have voted to defund Planned Parenthood over the past several years to prevent so-called "taxpayer-funded abortions." The House voted to block Title X money to Planned Parenthood last year.
Even though the Hyde Amendment prevents the government from using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, Republican lawmakers often use the argument that awarding Title X or Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, sexually transmitted diseases testing and birth control could free up other money that it will use for abortion services, according to the Huffington Post article.
Dold recognizes he if his proposed bill is to become law. A number of members of his party have supported efforts to block funds. He considers himself a pro-choice Republican and believes the legislation is necessary.
There is no question we need bipartisan support,” Dold said. “I’ve been about that since I started. This should be a bipartisan cause. We have to put people above politics and progress above partisanship.”
Dold’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 6 election, , may like the idea but is skeptical of the North Shore congressman’s motivation.
“It’s legislation I would have supported in January, 2011. It’s one position to cover up a long record. You have to look at the whole record,” Schneider said.
“You have to be there every year not just in an election year,” he added criticizing Dold for his political timing
Schneider was not alone in his criticism. An email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee criticized Dold for voting to defund Planned Parenthood in February as part of the continuing resolution to fund the government. .
“Protecting access to health care has always been one of my priorities, which is why I spoke out against an effort to defund Planned Parenthood,” Dold said. Darlee Crockett, national co-chair of Republicans for Planned Parenthood, stood with Dold on Wednesday when he introduced the legislation in Washington.
In February, Dold was one of a handful of Republicans voting in favor of an amendment to the continuing resolution to maintain funding for Planned Parenthood. When the measure failed, he voted for the complete legislation to keep the government running.