One of the major points the Republican party has been selling to their supporters is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. With this repeal comes the possibility of defunding Planned Parenthood. While there was always plenty of talk within the Republican party of defunding the organization, there was never any clear confirmation about whether or not it would be included in their legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act--until now. This past Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters that Republicans officially planned to include the defunding provision to their repeal legislation.
Even though Planned Parenthood does not use federal funds to finance abortions many Republicans have stood firmly against the organization. While pro-life advocates are plenty within the Republican party, the main goal was not defunding Planned Parenthood but repealing the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have now gotten closer than ever to defunding Planned Parenthood. They added language to the legislation that may put the repeal in jeopardy. In order to pass the repeal legislation through the Senate, Republicans need the support of at least 50 of their 52 members. Two Republican senators who are openly pro-choice, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have not committed to voting on the bill with the new Planned Parenthood provision.
According to CNN, Collins told reporters, "Obviously, I'm not happy to hear the speaker wants to include defunding of Planned Parenthood, an extremely controversial issue in the package." Murkowski stated in the same article that, "We're going to be having a lot of discussions about that probably as soon as this week."
According to a recent New York Times article that cited the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, if successful, the bill would take away about $400 million in Medicaid money in the year after it’s enacted, leaving about 400,000 women without access to care. The money would be redirected to community health centers but many fear that those who rely on Medicaid and are denied by Planned Parenthood may not have options elsewhere.
Planned Parenthood is rallying in downtown Manhattan on January 7 at PPNYC at 1pm and we hope to see you there. Stand up for Planned Parenthood and the communities it serves. More info here.
Photo via Planned Parenthood Action Facebook page.
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