How to Stop the Defunding of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is Not About Abortion
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Republicans are using dishonest rhetoric about abortion as a reason to defund Planned Parenthood and take away healthcare from millions of Americans. You can take action. Here is a fantastic toolkit you can use (no matter where you live) to help defeat Trumpcare and the House Bill.

This week the US House of Representatives will vote to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Narrowly, the fight over health care in this country seems focused on the question of funding Medicaid, which provides healthcare to low income Americans. Really, though, it’s about controlling women’s access to health care. It’s the opposite of freedom.

The House bill, which the Trump Administration fully supports, says that people cannot use Medicaid at Planned Parenthood clinics.

Under the Affordable Care Act, 31 states expanded Medicaid, providing coverage to millions of adults. The federal government has been paying more than 90 percent of the costs for the newly eligible recipients. The current House bill (”Trumpcare”) would end Medicaid “as an open-ended entitlement to health care” and instead allow states to choose one lump-sum block grant to fund their Medicaid programs. In Conservative states, this will have tremendous impact on health care access, and most crucially, women’s access to care.

Why? Because this “defund” provision will effectively block 1.5 million Medicaid patients from accessing the care they need at Planned Parenthood health centers. This care ranges from birth control to cancer screening (Planned Parenthood provides over 650,000 cancer screenings each year).

There is a section in the GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act that would prohibit the federal government from reimbursing Planned Parenthood for treatment of low-income clients who use Medicaid or Title X family-planning programs, because, says Congress, some of its clinics also offer abortions, although for decades, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited taxpayer funding for “elective” abortions.

But the Administration and GOP Congress defend defunding Planned Parenthood using the rhetoric of abortion. They focus on a divisive issue when what’s at stake is women (and men’s) basic health needs. At a town hall last week a Medicaid recipient and Planned Parenthood client asked Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price, “How do you expect the millions of low income women nationwide who depend on Planned Parenthood for vital human services to get their needs met?”

Price smiled and said he was listening to the will of the “American people [who] have said for decades that they do not their Federal Tax Dollars spent on abortion.” He’s merely responding to desires of American people in a way that answers their concerns, he stressed.

So listen up this week to the GOP rhetoric as they try to defend defunding. They will cite abortion again and again, and claim it’s the will of the people to cut off Planned Parenthood.

This is just not true. According to Fox News, more American voters approve of Planned Parenthood than support Trumpcare!

It is not true that federal Medicaid funding supports abortion services at Planned Parenthood. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal subsidies from being spent on abortions, except in the case of pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest or that threaten the life of the mother. Medicaid dollars sent to Planned Parenthood do not pay for abortions. Only a small percent of Planned Parenthood services are abortions.

In reflecting Sunday on her resurgent classic The Handmaid's Tale, author Margaret Atwood noted "The control of women and babies has been a feature of every repressive regime on the planet."

This is the intent of the current Congress, and of the Trump Administration, and this is their intent with the Health Care vote this week.

In case you had any doubt, under the new Trumpcare plan, even women who pay for their own insurance cannot use the tax credits offered under the Republican plan to purchase any health care plan that covers abortions. And if a woman has an “elective abortion,” her federally subsidized insurance will not pay for it.

You can take action. Here is a fantastic toolkit you can use (no matter where you live) to help defeat Trumpcare and the House Bill. Let’s stop the lies and repression of our vital needs.

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