Guest blog post by NDRL Chairman John Trandem:
Throughout Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s time in public life, she has consistently taken the lead on issues important to women. That is why I am so confused about her recent votes against expanding women’s healthcare coverage throughout the state.
With the recent controversy over Planned Parenthood, bills have been introduced in Congress that would ensure, despite the controversy, that federal funds remain available for women’s health. In fact, these funds would not only continue to flow, but thousands of new organizations would have access to the money to help provide services to women.
There are no Planned Parenthood facilities in North Dakota, so currently only those who are able to travel into bordering states have the ability to access these services. The new legislation would allow 16 federally-qualified community health centers throughout North Dakota to receive federal support to provide care, which represents a dramatic expansion in opportunities for women to access vital services.
That brings me to why I am so confused. Heidi Heitkamp says the issue is about access to women’s health services, but her vote means less access for North Dakota women.
Is it really about health care, or is it about ensuring that the number one abortion provider in the country continues to receive hundreds of millions of our tax dollars?
Senator Heitkamp’s three votes against increased access for women in North Dakota should tell us the true story.