Concerned Mayors Represent More Than 30 Million Americans
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, 106 bipartisan mayors from 28 states, including mayors from small towns and rural communities, sent a letter urging congressional leadership to reject efforts to block access to care at Planned Parenthood. The letter follows the House of Representatives’ vote last Thursday on the worst women’s health legislation in a generation. In the bipartisan letter to Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, House Speaker Ryan, and House Minority Leader Pelosi, the Mayors highlighted the need for Planned Parenthood’s services in their communities and declared their support for equitable health care access:
“No one knows better than mayors how devastating it would be to take away health care and preventive services from this many people. If all Medicaid patients are blocked from seeking care at Planned Parenthood health centers, it would be an attack on the well-being and economic security of those who already face barriers to accessing health care and need it most. People go to Planned Parenthood because they know they will find health care professionals who are compassionate experts dedicated to reproductive and preventative health care. We know our communities, and we know they rely on the trusted care of Planned Parenthood. For Medicaid recipients to lose this essential part of their healthcare would be nothing short of disastrous.”
If enacted, a provision in the Affordable Health Care Act would prohibit all people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers — jeopardizing the health of the 2.5 million people who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential health services and inflicting a serious blow to the country’s safety net network of providers.
In March, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that a provision to “defund” Planned Parenthood would result in reduced access to care for patients who live in areas where Planned Parenthood is the only health care option and where Planned Parenthood serves low-income populations. More than half of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage areas, rural or medically underserved areas. Experts have repeatedly said that other providers cannot absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients.
Statement by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
Congress should pay attention to the 106 mayors, representing over 30 million people, who stand with the millions of people who rely on Planned Parenthood for high quality health care. They understand how access to quality, affordable health care can strengthen communities and how attacking access to that care is devastating for women and families. These leaders are listening to the needs of the people they represent — it’s time for our Senators to do the same and reject dangerous measures that hurt women’s health.
Full text of the letter can be found HERE.