Planned Parenthood Opposes Senate Healthcare Bill

“Defunding” Planned Parenthood will deny millions access to cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing and treatment

PORTLAND, MAINE — Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund released the following statement on the Senate healthcare bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act:

Amy Cookson, Communications Manager, Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund

“The Senate has followed the House’s lead and produced a bill that will have devastating effects for women across the country. From blocking patient access to Planned Parenthood and slashing Medicaid to gutting the Essential Health Benefits, this is truly a cruel, heartless bill.

“When politicians succeed in blocking women from getting care at Planned Parenthood health centers close and patients have nowhere to turn. That’s what’s happening in Iowa right now, and what will happen across the country if Trumpcare passes.

Now is the time for every person who cares about women’s health and access to affordable quality care to speak out and join this fight. People across the country, including a majority of Mainers, strongly oppose blocking women from going to Planned Parenthood for preventive care. We must get louder than ever so our elected officials cannot ignore us. We’re counting on Senator King and Senator Collins to continue to stand with Planned Parenthood, stand with Maine people, and oppose this bill.”

The Senate bill will:

  • Take away health insurance from millions of people and make it less affordable for those who will still have insurance.

  • “Defund” Planned Parenthood by blocking people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers — including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment.

  • Cut Essential Health Benefits protections, including maternity coverage and prescription drugs, which disproportionately affect women. Thirteen million women could lose coverage to maternity care under this bill.

  • Gut the Medicaid program, which approximately 1 in 5 women of reproductive age rely on to access no-cost, critical reproductive health care such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and maternity care.  

  • Reduce access to no-cost preventive services, including birth control.

  • Impose a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion.

The term “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. Planned Parenthood does not get a blank check from the federal government, and it’s not a line item in the federal budget. Planned Parenthood receives reimbursements, just like hospitals and other health care organizations, for providing preventive care. The measure from the House bill would prevent Planned Parenthood from being reimbursed by Medicaid for Medicaid services provided to patients, including annual exams, birth control, cancer screenings, and disease testing and treatment. Medicaid cannot be used for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the woman is in danger.

Fifty-four percent of Planned Parenthood health centers, including three in Maine, are in health professional shortage areas, rural or medically underserved areas. Experts have repeatedly said that other providers cannot absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients.  

FACT SHEET: Rolling Back 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: Approximately 13 million women could stand to lose maternity coverage. Prior to the ACA only 12% of individual market health plans covered maternity care. And, prior to the ACA, some insurance plans did not cover C-sections at all; when they did, they charged women 25 percent more in premiums.

  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.

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Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in Maine. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.

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