July 31, 2018 Press Releases


Casten Calls Out Peter Roskam for Continued Refusal to Oppose Trump Administration on Behalf of Women’s Rights and Reproductive Health

(Downers Grove, IL) July 31, 2018 – The Trump Administration has proposed a gag rule to make it illegal for doctors and nurses across the country to tell their patients how and where they can access abortion safely or legally. On the last day for public comment, Sixth District Candidate Sean Casten and Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, called out Rep. Peter Roskam for failing to defend women:

“Peter Roskam is again failing to defend women’s rights and their access to health care,” said Casten. “Donald Trump has stepped up his attacks against Planned Parenthood, women’s health, and the right to comprehensive health care access – and yet again, Peter Roskam has remained silent.”

“Not only is this gag rule an attack on women’s reproductive health, it’s an attack on the basic health care needs that thousands of citizens in Illinois access at health centers like Planned Parenthood. Peter Roskam is not the independent check on Donald Trump that Illinois needs. That’s why I am speaking out and submitting my own opposition to this blatant assault on women’s health care.”

“This rule change is yet another attack on Planned Parenthood, on women’s health and on our basic rights to access healthcare,” said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action. “When Donald Trump and Peter Roskam failed in previous attempts to block funding to Planned Parenthood, the administration has found another way to block patients from getting the care they need. This is a gross attempt to try to control women’s lives, and Peter Roskam’s refusal to stand up for women in Illinois is disheartening.”

The proposed Trump Administration rule restricts Title X funding to health centers that provide abortion or abortion counseling.

Roskam has a long record of opposing access to reproductive health and services. His history includes opposing abortion for rape and incest victims, 17 votes to defund or attack Planned Parenthood patients, stating that abstinence was the “100% proven way to prevent an unwanted” pregnancy, and voting repeatedly to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, raise premiums, and take health care away from more than 30,000 district residents.

Today, Sean Casten submitted his own public comment opposing Trump’s proposed rule:


Dear Secretary Alex Azar:

Title X provides effective, affordable birth control and reproductive health care to citizens who couldn’t otherwise afford health care services on their own. Over 4 million people nationally rely on Title X in this country. In Illinois, we have nearly 100 Title X health care providers, with Planned Parenthood helping over 40% of the recipients. In the 6th Congressional District alone, over 86,000 receive federal family planning services under Title X.

The services Title X helps support include wellness exams, lifesaving cervical and breast cancer screenings, birth control, contraception education, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV testing.

I strongly urge you to stop the implementation of this rule. It will decrease women’s access to vital health care services, and it will not fulfill the goal this Administration not-so-subtly seeks. Title X funding helps prevent 1 million unintended pregnancies annually, saves taxpayers $7 for every $1 invested, and saves federal and state governments $13.6 billion annually. But more importantly, Title X funding serves as a lifesaving resource for women across this country who are in need of reproductive and basic health care needs.

Sean Casten
Downers Grove, IL