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Renee Ellmers

Former Regional Director of Region 4, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

Prior to joining the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Renee Ellmers served three terms in Congress where she led efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Before joining Congress, Ellmers spent over a decade working as a registered nurse with her husband, a surgeon. On February 4, 2019, HHS announced she was departing her role as Regional Director. 

HOW THEIR ROLE AFFECTS ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

The Regional Director(s) of the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) represent the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in direct official dealings with state and local governmental officials and offices, as well as non-government organizations. The Regional Director can therefore formulate and recommend department policies on the delivery of services to states, territories and communities.

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT OF NOTE

Member, United States House of Representatives, 2011 – 2016

TIES TO OTHER ANTI-CHOICE EXTREMISTS

Susan B. Anthony List:

Ellmers was endorsed by Susan B. Anthony List during her congressional campaign. The group also contributed to three of her campaigns.

Americans United for Life & Charmaine Yoest:

Ellmers invited Americans United For Life president Charmaine Yoest to hold a press conference with other members of Congress to present the group’s case for investigating Planned Parenthood.

HIGHLIGHTS

Ellmers Argued Against Providing Maternity Care As An Essential Health Benefit:

Ellmers: “As Far As The Essential Health Benefits, Correct Me If I’m Wrong, Do Men Not Have To Buy Maternity Coverage?” “Representative Renee Ellmers got the ball rolling at an October 30 House hearing where she pointedly questioned Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: ‘As far as the essential health benefits, correct me if I’m wrong, do men not have to buy maternity coverage?’ The North Carolina Republican hammered Sebelius from there, ending with, ‘To the best of your knowledge has a man ever delivered a baby?’ Sebelius tried to defend covering maternity care, but it was too late. A ‘single male, age 32, does not need maternity coverage,’ Ellmers said.” [The Atlantic, 11/22/13]

Ellmers Argued That Men Talk About Things On A “Higher Level”  And Should “Bring It Down To A Woman’s Level” When Talking On The House Floor:

Ellmers: “We Need Our Male Colleagues To Understand That If You Can Bring It Down To A Woman’s Level And What Everything That She Is Balancing In Her Life—That’s The Way To Go.” “Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level. Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that ... we need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go.” [Slate, 7/15/14]

THE WHOLE STORY

Renee Ellmers Is An Anti-Abortion Advocate Who Spent Her Time In Congress Doing The Bidding Of Extreme Anti-Abortion Groups

While Running For Congress, Ellmers Was Endorsed And Funded By The Anti-Abortion Group Susan B Anthony List

Ellmers Has Been Endorsed By The Susan B. Anthony List For Her Commitment To Creating Barriers To Abortion. “Today the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, a national pro-life political action committee, announced its endorsement of Renee Ellmers, candidate for U.S. Representative in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district.   ‘North Carolinians and all American women deserve the pro-life feminine leadership Renee Ellmers so capably provides,’ said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List Candidate Fund. ‘Informed by her own health care background, Ellmers’s commitment to rescind taxpayer funding of abortion in health care and in every aspect of federal spending is urgently needed in the coming Congress.” [Christian Newswire, 7/13/10]

Between 2010 and 2014, SBA List Contributed Over $17,000 To Renee Ellmers’ Congressional Campaign. [Federal Election Commission, accessed 10/31/18]

…And In Congress, Ellmers Catered To The Anti-Abortion Group, Americans United For Life And Spent Much Of Her Time Trying To Rescind Funding For Planned Parenthood

In 2011, Renee Ellmers Invited Americans United For Life President Charmaine Yoest To Present Its Case To Congress For “Investigating Planned Parenthood.”… “Tomorrow, AUL officials will hold a press conference with Rep. Renee Ellmers, a North Carolina Republican, and Rep. Randy Hultgren, an Illinois Republican, who have invited other members of Congress to join them in calling for a congressional probe of the abortion giant.  Congressman Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Republican, rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, and Rep. Bill Huizenga, a Michigan republican, will join the event as well.  In a letter to her colleagues this week, Ellmers writes, ‘I invite my colleagues to review the findings of this report and to join us on Thursday as we voice our concerns about the issues raised  and express our renewed commitment to seeking accountability for taxpayers and for investigating whether taxpayers are funding an organization that misuses government funding and violates state laws.’” [Life News, 7/13/11]

  • That Same Year, Americans United For Life Spent An Exorbitant Amount Of Money Lobbying Congress On This Very Issue. Between 2010 and 2011, Americans United for Life Spent $86,000 Lobbying Congress and HHS on Issues including “defunding planned parenthood.” [Americans United for Life Action, Open Secrets, accessed 10/31/18]

…And In September Of 2015, Ellmers Introduced A Bill To Prohibit Family Planning Dollars From Going To Planned Parenthood. On September 8, 2015 Rep. Renee Ellmers introduced a bill to “prohibit the provision of funds under title X of the Public Health Service Act to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics during a period of review by the Government Accountability Office and the Congress.” [H.R.3443, 114th Congress, 9/8/15]

In 2016, Renee Ellmers Voted To Repeal The Affordable Care Act With No Viable Alternative And Voted To “Defund Planned Parenthood.” “Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) issued the below release following House passage of H.R. 3762 – Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act. This is the Senate-passed reconciliation bill which will send a repeal of Obamacare straight to the president’s desk:   ‘Since I was first elected to represent the 2nd District, I have promised to work for a repeal of Obamacare. My Republican Colleagues and I have assured Americans that we would slash the national deficit, push back against the president’s liberal agenda and defund Planned Parenthood. Today’s legislation is the first time ever that a full bill to repeal Obamacare will head straight to President Obama’s desk. I’m very proud to relay that today’s vote again delivers on all four of these promises.’” [Press Release, Renee Ellmers, 1/6/16]

Ellmers Has A Proven Track Record Of Sexist Remarks Disparaging Women And Harmful Policy Proposals

Ellmers, Who Opposes Abortion, Does Not Support Providing Maternity Care As An Essential Health Benefit

Ellmers: “As Far As The Essential Health Benefits, Correct Me If I’m Wrong, Do Men Not Have To Buy Maternity Coverage?” Representative Renee Ellmers got the ball rolling at an October 30 House hearing where she pointedly questioned Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: ‘As far as the essential health benefits, correct me if I’m wrong, do men not have to buy maternity coverage?’ The North Carolina Republican hammered Sebelius from there, ending with, ‘To the best of your knowledge has a man ever delivered a baby?’ Sebelius tried to defend covering maternity care, but it was too late. A ‘single male, age 32, does not need maternity coverage,’ Ellmers said.” [The Atlantic, 11/22/13]

Ellmers Argued That Men Tend To “Talk About Things On A Much Higher Level” And Should “Bring It Down To A Woman’s Level”

Ellmers: “Men Do Tend To Talk About Things On A Much Higher Level…We Need Our Male Colleagues To Understand That If You Can Bring It Down To A Woman’s Level And What Everything That She Is Balancing In Her Life—That’s The Way To Go.” “Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level. Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that … we need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go.” [Slate, 7/15/14]