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Washington, DC-- Media are reporting this morning that Vice President Mike Pence and the House Freedom Caucus are negotiating to revive the failed ACA repeal bill. The purported negotiation includes giving states the option to opt out of essential health benefits (EHB) and to eliminate community ratings, which would allow insurance companies to charge higher rates for individuals who are sicker and return to a time when being a woman was a preexisting condition. Undermining the ACA’s EHB coverage standards is a direct attack on women of all ages.  Women disproportionately rely on every one of the EHB standards – not just maternity coverage – and would be disproportionately affected by the elimination of these services. Women of color would be particularly harmed by these changes and by any provision that would undermine health care coverage, including Medicaid. 

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Women are sick and tired of seeing a bunch of male politicians like Mike Pence trading away their health care and rights behind closed doors. When this same group of male politicians peddled the same bad deal two weeks ago, public outrage brought the bill down. This rumored proposal would gut maternity care, reduce women’s access to birth control, and raise insurance rates for women. It would also prohibit women from getting care like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.

“It is outrageous that a group of men are negotiating to make it harder for women to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a healthy child.”


Fact Sheet: Undermining the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Will Hurt Women

1. AMBULATORY CARE: Women make up approximately 60% of outpatient visits.

2. EMERGENCY SERVICES: Women account for 6 in 10 visits to the emergency room.

3. HOSPITALIZATIONS: Women are 70% more likely than men to have had an in-patient hospital stay.

4. MATERNITY & NEWBORN CARE: 9 million women gained maternity and newborn coverage thanks to the ACA. Prior to the ACA only 12% of individual market health plans covered maternity care.

5. MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE USE: Women are 40% more likely than men to have mental health needs. Additionally, women are roughly 75% more likely than men to report having recently suffered from depression.

6. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Women are more likely than men to need prescription drugs to meet their daily health care needs.

7. REHABILITATIVE SERVICES: Women are more likely to suffer from a stroke and require rehabilitative services to help them regain motor or speaking skills.

8. LAB TESTS: Some of the most common lab tests are specifically geared to women, including pap smears, pregnancy tests, mammograms, brca gene testing (breast cancer testing), and many other lab services that are necessary to diagnose and treat conditions that disproportionately impact women like autoimmune disorders, thyroid disorders, and urinary tract infections.

9. PREVENTIVE SERVICES & CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT: 55 million have received access to no cost birth control, well-woman visits, domestic violence screenings, and STI/HIV screenings thanks to the ACA.

10. PEDIATRIC SERVICES. In two-parent households where at least one parent is a woman, women tend to bear a disproportionate share of childcare and caregiving responsibility for children. In addition, 80% of  single-parent households are headed by women.



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.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


April 04, 2017