Cuts to Medicaid Would Be Devastating for American Women
May 10, 2012
Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood strongly condemns the House of Representatives’ vote on a devastating budget proposal that would cut Medicaid and severely and disproportionately impact low-income women’s access to basic, preventive health care in this country.
“At a time when women are struggling to pay their bills and take care of their families, this proposal to cut Medicaid would have devastating impacts on women’s pocketbooks across this county,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Women and their families are the ones who will be hurt by this proposal, and we’ll be working to ensure that these cuts do not go into effect.”
Medicaid is the largest source of public funding for family planning, helping to pay for contraceptive services and supplies, well-woman exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and screenings for STIs, including HIV. Over 21 million women and one in three children rely on Medicaid for health coverage that provides a full spectrum of basic and preventive health care, including lifesaving immunizations, screenings, and treatment for chronic or acute conditions.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, publicly funded family planning services, such as those provided through Medicaid, helped prevent nearly two million unintended pregnancies in 2006, nearly half of which would have ended in abortion. Without these services, the number of unintended pregnancies among poor women would nearly double.
“Add this to the list of legislative proposals that opponents of women’s health have brought forward in the last 18 months,” said Richards. “We have seen this firsthand. Three-quarters of Planned Parenthood patients make less than $33,000 for a family of four, and cutting Medicaid would severely curtail patients’ ability to get the basic, preventive care they need. And for many patients, the only doctor or nurse they see is at a Planned Parenthood health center.”