Today as part of the growing response to the House GOP officially introducing their ACA repeal bill, which also contains provisions blocking patients access to Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood supporters in Arizona will take action and deliver petitions to Rep. Martha McSally’s office in Tucson. On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their score of the ACA repeal bill. The report detailed the dangerous and harmful fallout of the plan that would leave 14 million people without coverage by 2018.
The CBO estimates that the “defund” Planned Parenthood provision would result in reduced access to care for patients who live in areas where Planned Parenthood is the only health care option or where Planned Parenthood serves low-income populations. Fifty-four percent of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage areas, rural or medically underserved areas.
When politicians say they want to defund Planned Parenthood, what they are really saying is they want to block millions across the country and thousands of people in Arizona from access to basic health care — cancer screenings, birth control, well woman exams — that they depend on. Planned Parenthood supporters are rallying and organizing to make sure this does not happen. A delegation of 12 advocates went to Congresswoman’s McSally’s office last night to demand she discuss the facts regarding this legislation. The claims made by GOP leadership that this is not a targeted attack are false. CBO is totally clear that the provision singles out Planned Parenthood. It states: "CBO expects that, according to those criteria, only Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates and clinics would be affected.” This undermines proponents claim that the provision does not violate the Byrd Rule because it affects a “class of providers,” and not just Planned Parenthood.
The fact is, one in five women in America has relied on Planned Parenthood, and their health care shouldn't get caught up in congressional Republicans' extreme agenda to undermine access to preventive care. The political attacks on Planned Parenthood are very real and will harm the over 33,000 patients in Arizona that rely on Planned Parenthood Arizona for care every year. The bill being considered would only serve to deny Medicaid patients in Arizona from lifesaving health care. Our leaders in Congress have the responsibility to keep Americans safe and healthy. Without a doubt, cutting access for Planned Parenthood patients on Medicaid will put people’s lives at risk. Supporters are asking that Congresswoman Martha McSally listen to her constituents and reject any attempt to cut off millions of women from essential health care at Planned Parenthood.
Patients do not go to Planned Parenthood to make a political statement. They seek compassionate, affordable, high-quality health care. Every person, no matter who they are or how much money they make, deserves that kind of care.