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Washington, DC --  Ahead of the final floor vote to confirm Congressman Tom Price (R-GA-6), President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Planned Parenthood Federation of America urges Senators to reject his nomination:

If confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Price could have the power to change this benefit and force women to pay more out of pocket for birth control.  Without insurance coverage, birth control pills can cost up to $600 a year, putting them out of reach for many women already struggling financially and who already face barriers to accessing health care. Nationally, women have saved more than $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs on birth control pills alone since the benefit took effect. 

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“A vote for Tom Price is a vote against affordable birth control,access to reproductive health care, and a vote against Planned Parenthood. Millions of people are coming out in  droves to reject attacks on women, communities of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals.  Rep. Price has shown over and over again he will stop at nothing to take health care away from millions of Americans. He has been clear that he will relentlessly pursue an agenda to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its important and popular protections such as the women’s preventive health benefit that’s allowed 55 million women access no-copay contraception. Rep. Price  refuses to acknowledge the obstacles individuals face, especially people of color, people living in rural areas, and people with low incomes, to obtain health care - having made the absurd statement that ‘not a single woman’ has had trouble accessing birth control. 

“Should Rep. Price be nominated, rest assured that Planned Parenthood’s 10 million supporters and 2.5 million patients will refuse to be silenced especially if he and Mike Pence attack women’s rights to access reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion, and the ability to seek care at Planned Parenthood health centers.”

A study released last month from the Urban Instituteshowed that more two-thirds of women at risk of unintended pregnancy always used some form of contraception in the past six months. More than two-thirds of women also report that health insurance or another program, like Title X or Medicaid family planning programs, covered the full cost of their contraception.

Price has repeatedly devalued and dismissed the importance of affordable birth control. A Guttmacher Institute study released recently showed that increased access to contraception helped contribute to the U.S. abortion rate reaching its lowest level ever recorded.   

  • Hart Research poll found that one in three women voters have struggled to afford prescription birth control, including 55 percent of young women aged 18 to 34.
  • The Urban Institute report released showed that more than 1 in 6 women reported barriers to accessing contraception, and uninsured women were twice as likely to report barriers. The most commonly cited barriers were issues with costs of birth control (41 percent) and insurance coverage for birth control (46 percent), such as women who do not have insurance.
  • Uninsured women were much less likely to use contraception. Only 40 percent of uninsured women reported always using contraception, compared to 73 percent of insured women
  • According to the Guttmacher Institute, 20.2 million women in the U.S. were in need of publicly funded family planning services like birth control in 2014, an increase of 1 million since 2010.  
  • Perry/Undem pollshowed that 85% of Americans want access to quality affordable birth control. 

Price wants to repeal the ACA and has supported 65 attempts to repeal it. A report from the Congressional Budget Office released states that 32 million people would lose health insurance by 2026 if the ACA were repealed.

  • 55 million women would lose access to no-copay preventive services, including birth control, STI screenings, and life-saving preventive services such as breast cancer screenings and pap tests.  
  • Being a woman could once again be considered a pre-existing condition, allowing health insurers to deny health coverage to tens of millions of women.
  • Women would pay an estimated $1 billion more than men for the same health care plans if “gender rating” was allowed again.
  • Millions of low-income women would lose their health insurance, which they have gained through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. In 2015, Medicaid covered 17% of women ages 19-64 (16.66  million), up from 10% in 2008 (pre-ACA).
  • Medicaid is the largest source of reproductive health care in the country. By undoing its expansion fewer women will have  access to reproductive services, like contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and STI testing and treatment.

Price has tried to cut off women’s access to basic health services at Planned Parenthood, which has already been proven to have devastating consequences:

  • A study released by Health Management Associates confirms that blocking access to health care at Planned Parenthood would have devastating consequences for its patients in Wisconsin and across the country. More than 70 percent of counties Planned Parenthood serves in Wisconsin have a shortage of health care providers.
    • Defunding” Planned Parenthood would have a disproportionate impact on those who already face far too many barriers to health care as people of color, people who live in rural areas, or people with low incomes. In Wisconsin, 30 percent of Planned Parenthood health center patients are Black and 19 percent are Latino, which are higher proportions than in the general population of the state.
  • AGuttmacher Institute study released yesterday showing that increased access to contraception helped contribute to the U.S. abortion rate reaching its lowest level ever recorded.
  • A recent study in theNew England Journal of Medicine showed that blocking patients from going to Planned Parenthood in Texas was associated with a 35% decline in women in publicly funded programs using the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27% increase in births among women who had previously accessed injectable contraception through those programs.
  • Blocking patients from care at health centers has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care. For example, inTexas, researchers found that more than half of women reported at least one barrier to reproductive health care. Spanish-speaking women from Mexico were more likely to report three or more barriers.
  • InWisconsin and Texas, researchers found that fewer women could access lifesaving cancer screenings following the closure of Planned Parenthood health centers.  An increase in 100 miles from the nearest health center resulted in a 6 percent decrease in the rate women obtained breast exams, and 9 percent decrease in Pap tests.
  • TheCBO projectsthat the net cost to taxpayers if Planned Parenthood is defunded would be $130 million over 10 years because of an increase in unintended pregnancies without the high-quality contraceptive care we provide.
  • Perry/Undem poll released January 17shows that 71% of all Americans oppose defunding Planned Parenthood, echoing a majority of national polls that show the American public oppose efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.

Despite Price’s repeated statements that “patients, families and doctors should be making health decisions, not Washington DC,” he would interfere with women’s access to safe and legal abortion. In Congress, he has routinely voted in favor of dangerous bills that would:

  • Restrict abortion access;
  • Block access to basic preventive care at Planned Parenthood;
  • Interfere in the doctor-patient relationship;
  • Prevent medical students from being trained on how to provide abortion;
  • Block insurance coverage of abortion;
  • Allow bosses to take away birth control.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

Source

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Published

February 09, 2017

Updated

February 10, 2017