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Demands Senate Reject Worst Bill for Women in a Generation

Cecile Richards: “With this latest version of Trumpcare, Americans will pay more and get less, but women will pay the biggest price of all. This is, hands down, the worst bill for women in a generation, especially for low-income women and women of color. Slashing Medicaid, cutting maternity coverage, and blocking millions from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood would result in more undetected cancers and more unintended pregnancies. And it puts moms and their babies at risk. Now is the time for every person who cares about women’s health and access to affordable, quality care to speak out and join this fight.”  

Washington, DC – Planned Parenthood Federation of America strongly opposes the latest version of the Senate health care repeal bill. Even after weeks of rewriting, this bill is still the worst bill for women in a generation. In addition to blocking individuals on Medicaid from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood and slashing Medicaid, it guts Essential Health Benefit protections, including maternity coverage and prescription drugs. Thirteen million women could lose coverage to maternity care under this bill.

 A powerful editorial in this morning’s Washington Post states it clearly: “Of all the magical thinking that has gone into Republican proposals to replace Obamacare, none has been more fanciful than the argument accompanying efforts to defund Planned Parenthood…. In truth, millions of women would lose access to critical health care.”

It’s clear that the American people strongly oppose blocking women from going to Planned Parenthood for preventive care, as well as repealing the Affordable Care Act. The Senate health care repeal bill is the most unpopular bill in three decades and the provision blocking women from Planned Parenthood is one of the most unpopular parts – with 80% of voters, including 67% of Republicans, opposing.  

Experts agree that the “defund” Planned Parenthood provision is a violation of the Byrd Rule because it is politically motivated policy, similar to the tax credit provision related to abortion. It has no place on reconciliation because it violates these rules, and it has no place on any legislation because it is the epitome of a mean-spirited policy that hurts millions of women.

Planned Parenthood grassroots organizing has been a driving force in opposing Trumpcare and efforts to “defund” Planned Parenthood. For months, an army of pink-clad Planned Parenthood patients, supporters, and advocates have taken thousands of actions from coast to coast including protest rallies, speaking out at Congressional town halls, calling their members of Congress, delivering petitions to Congressional offices, and hosting field hearings.

Over the last several months, Planned Parenthood supporters have:

  • Made more than 175,000 phone calls to members of Congress

  • Organized more than 2,200 events across the country, including rallies, petition drops, phone banks, and marches

  • Delivered over 1 million petition signatures to members of Congress in opposition to  “defunding” Planned Parenthood.
     

Like the first version of the Senate repeal bill, this new version was largely negotiated by men behind closed doors, so it is not surprising that it would:

  • Take away health insurance from millions of people and make it less affordable for those who will still have insurance.

  • “Defund” Planned Parenthood by blocking people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers– including birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment.

  • Cut Essential Health Benefits protections, including maternity coverage and prescription drugs, which disproportionately affect women. Thirteen million women could lose coverage to maternity care under this bill. The U.S. maternal mortality rate is rising, and considerable racial disparities persist. Maternal mortality rates among African American women are four times higher than white women.  

  • Gut the Medicaid program, which approximately 1 in 5 women of reproductive age rely on to access no-cost, critical reproductive health care such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and maternity care.  

  • Reduce access to no-cost preventive services, including birth control.

  • Impose a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion.

Blocking people’s access to care at Planned Parenthood is deeply unpopular with both health care experts and Americans.  

  • A Quinnipiac poll shows that 80 percent of voters support Planned Parenthood and oppose efforts to block people from getting care at Planned Parenthood.

Blocking people’s access to care at Planned Parenthood would have a devastating impact on people’s health.

  • If enacted, prohibiting individuals from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers would have a devastating impact on the 2.4 million people who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential health services.

  • In June, the Congressional Budget Office projected that about 15 percent of people who reside in “areas without other health care clinics or medical practitioners who serve low-income populations” would lose access to care, and that “services that help women avoid becoming pregnant would be affected.” 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.

  • A recent Guttmacher analysis found that without Planned Parenthood contraceptive services, unintended pregnancy and abortion would increase by 15%.

  • Last year alone, Planned Parenthood screenings helped 72,012 women detect cancer early or identify abnormalities.

  • The term “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. Planned Parenthood does not get a blank check from the federal government, and it’s not a line item in the federal budget. Planned Parenthood receives reimbursements, just like hospitals and other health care organizations, for providing preventive care. Federal law already prohibits federal funding from going to abortion services.

The Planned Parenthood provision is still a no-go for key Republican Senators.  

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

With this latest version of Trumpcare, Americans will pay more and get less, but women will pay the biggest price of all. This is, hands down, the worst bill for women in a generation, especially for low-income women and women of color.  

“Slashing Medicaid, cutting maternity coverage, and blocking millions from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood would result in more undetected cancers and more unintended pregnancies. And it puts moms and their babies at risk.

“Now is the time for every person who cares about women’s health and access to affordable quality care to speak out and join this fight.

“Each and every senator should listen to the American people and vote against this legislation.

“If this bill passes the Senate, the consequences are dire:

“It would block individuals on Medicaid from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood; gut maternity coverage; strip millions of their health insurance; force new moms back to work shortly after giving birth; and reduce access to contraception.

“In short, this bill makes it harder to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a family.

“One in five women in this country rely on Planned Parenthood for care. They are demanding that the Senate reject this bill and keep Planned Parenthood’s doors open.

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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 more than 600 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.