74 Tech Leaders Stand With Planned Parenthood in Letter To Congress

March 16, 2017, 9:12 PM UTC
Planned Parenthood Locations As GOP Girds for Race To Repeal Obama's Final Rules Before Deadline
Signage is displayed outside a Planned Parenthood office in Peoria, Illinois, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.
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More than 70 tech leaders and executives sent a letter to Congressional leadership in support of Planned Parenthood amid efforts by Republicans to cut funding for the women’s health care provider.

“There is no doubt that current congressional efforts to cut off access to this essential health care provider would hurt women, their families, and the businesses they lead, work for, and support,” the letter, published on a Planned Parenthood site, reads.

The letter, signed by 74 leaders including CEOs from Tumblr, Slack, Foursquare, and Eventbrite, comes after Republicans introduced their Obamacare replacement plan last week. The so-called American Health Care Act (AHCA) includes a provision to defund Planned Parenthood — a longtime effort pushed by Congressional Republicans.

“When policymakers in Washington, DC, talk about ‘defunding’ Planned Parenthood, they are talking about dismantling access to basic health care in communities across the country, and stopping progress in its tracks,” the letter says.

“We are committed to supporting their ability to build on this important work and, above all, we are connected to Planned Parenthood’s mission which so closely resembles what we stand for as leaders in technology: creating opportunity for everyone to chart their own path in life and pursue their own ingenuity – without barriers or fear,” the letter continues.

The letter is addressed to the top Republican and Democratic leaders: House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. It does not specifically mention the new Obamacare replacement plan.

Federal funding amounts to 40% of Planned Parenthood’s operating budget, according to a 2014-2015 report from the organization. Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of women’s health care in the U.S.

Business and tech leaders have voiced criticism of GOP Congressional initiatives and President Donald Trump’s policies since he took office. Several business leaders have donated hefty amounts to Planned Parenthood in recent months, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and businesswoman Elaine Wynn.

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