Women’s health rights are in danger across the country! After Paul Ryan announced on Jan. 5 that Republicans plan to defund Planned Parenthood as part of their Obamacare repeal efforts, 2.5 million PP patients are at risk of losing access to care. And while that’s a shocking stat, hope is NOT lost! Find out here how you can help stop the defunding of PP & protect women.
With Speaker of The House Paul Ryan‘s, 46, Jan. 5 announcement revealing that Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood along with Obamacare, Democratic lawmakers across the country have vowed to fight the initiative. But they can’t do it alone! If you want to help protect women’s reproductive health and rights in the U.S., there a few things you can do to take action. After all, it will only take THREE Republican members of Congress to be swayed left in order for Planned Parenthood to continue receiving its funding. It’s SO close, people! Here’s how to join the fight:
Contact Your Congress Representative
As scary as it may be, this entire initiative is in the hands of the Republicans — the defunding of Planned Parenthood can ONLY be stopped if Republicans oppose it. What this means is, if you’re represented by Republican lawmakers (in the House or the Senate), you have major pull here. Not sure who your representatives are? Click here to easily find out. If either of them is a Republican, you should definitely call them and tell them you oppose any effort to defund Planned Parenthood. Emailing is another option as well, but calling is most effective.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 5, 2017
So Collins, Paul and Cotton have expressed reservations about repealing ACA without a replacement ready. If those three defect, it’s over.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 5, 2017
If you live in Kentucky, Maine, Arkansas, or Tennessee, your phone calls are even MORE necessary! See, Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, have all said that they’re mostly undecided on the defunding issue. If all three vote against the Planned Parenthood defund, it’s not going to be defunded. We TOLD you it was a tight vote!
“Obviously, I’m not happy that the speaker has decided to include the defunding of Planned Parenthood – an extremely controversial issue – in the package,” Susan told reporters on Jan. 5 in Washington, according to the Press Herald. “There is a group of House Republicans led by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) who are opposed to the defunding of Planned Parenthood in the (budget reconciliation) bill, and I hope they will be successful in separating the two issues or knocking it out altogether.”
Similarly, Tom believes getting rid of Obamacare could be problematic. “I think when we repeal Obamacare we need to have the solution in place moving forward,” the Arkansas Republican told MSNBC. “I don’t think we can just repeal Obamacare and say we’re going to get the answer two years from now. This is a very complicated problem.” And while Rand opposed the repeal too, it was for a different reason — but hey, we’ll take what we can get!
“I won’t vote for a terrible budget just to repeal Obamacare,” Rand told the media outlet. “If I have to weigh the two problems, I actually think the debt is a more important problem than Obamacare.” So to recap, your voice matters a lot here — especially if you hail from Kentucky, Main, or Arkansas. Don’t be shy about calling and voicing your opinion!
But let’s not forget about Tennessee. Tennessee is also an important state here because Tennessee’s senior Senator is Republican Lamar Alexander, and he’s the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — aka the one drafting the Obamacare repeal legislation. While Republicans most likely plan to use this bill as a way to defund Planned Parenthood, Alexander said on Jan. 5 that that isn’t necessarily set in stone! Basically, the Planned Parenthood defund may not even come up for a vote in the Senate — but it’s all up to Lamar!
And just to give you an even clearer idea of how close this vote truly is, earlier this week it was only a 51-48 vote that led to fast-tracking new budget procedures to get Obamacare and PP out. Yikes! Literally every voice counts at this point.
Send Donations To Planned Parenthood Under Mike Pence’s And/Or Paul Ryan’s Names
This is simple. Not only will you be donating to a cause you believe in, but by donating in the name of two politicians who strongly want to defund Planned Parenthood, you’ll be putting Planned Parenthood’s materials right in front of them. How? Because if you make a donation to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence‘s or Paul Ryan’s name, they’ll receive the certificate of the donation.
As of Nov. 22, the women’s health organization had received more than 50,000 individual donations in Mike Pence’s name, according to the Huffington Post. Don’t forget that there’s strength in numbers! To do this, put in Mike’s information as follows: Office of Governor Mike Pence / State House / Room 206 / Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797. Put in Paul’s information as follows: Speaker of The House Paul Ryan / 1233 Longworth HOB / Washington, D.C. 20515.
Attend The Women’s March On Jan. 21
If you can’t attend The Women’s March on Washington D.C. the day after Inauguration Day, have no fear — many other U.S. cities are having women’s marches of their own. Join in to show that there really is strength in numbers — and that we’re not going to back down when it comes to women’s health rights. So far 200,000 women are planning to march on Washington on Jan. 21, but if you can’t make it to the nation’s capitol, New York City is having their own march the same day as well as San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, and more.
“Women are angry, and women are getting involved, and that’s the key, that this march mobilized women and that they work with the anger and use it and don’t let it drop,” University of Scranton political historian Jean Harris reportedly told USA Today of the march on Washington. “We’ve been trying to move forward, but at this point, women have to fight just to maintain what they have…Having this march right now is important to say we’re not going to take this.”
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do YOU think Planned Parenthood will get defunded? What are your thoughts on the issue?