After months of waiting, the Senate finally revealed what’s in their Obamacare replacement bill, and it’s devastating for women’s rights. The government is proposing to defund Planned Parenthood for an entire year.
Congress decided to reveal the contents of their controversial Obamacare replacement bill draft on June 22, and some of the provisions are downright startling. The proposed healthcare bill will end funding, including Medicaid, to Planned Parenthood for one year. It’s an incredible blow to women’s healthcare, and leaves 2.4 million women who rely on the low cost clinics for basic medical necessities completely vulnerable. The defunding also alienates the members of Senate, including many Republicans, who are pro-choice. It’s enough to potentially spark a revolt against the bill in the GOP.
It’s important to note that this is still a draft of the healthcare bill. Nothing is set in stone at the moment, as the proposal needs to pass through Congress. While defunding Planned Parenthood has been on the table for a long time, even sparking a government shutdown in 2013 over the argument, there is language in another part of the bill that could foil the bill in Senate, The Washington Post pointed out. Conservative, anti-abortion groups could oppose the bill because it removes part of the failed House bill restricting federally subsidized insurance from covering abortions.
The new healthcare bill is likely to go through many more changes before hitting the Senate floor. This is a discussion draft, meaning content may be removed or added over the next week. Republican Senators are aiming for a vote by June 30. Even if Senate passes the bill, it still goes to a much more conservative House for review. If the House passes the bill, it goes to President Donald Trump‘s desk for review. Whether or not he’ll sign it into law remains in question. The president called the House’s previous American Health Care Act (AHCA), which failed on the floor, too “mean” and had asked for a “more generous bill.” Trump also reportedly called the bill a “son of a bitch,” whatever that’s supposed to mean, according to a source who spoke to CNN‘s Jim Acosta.
Vice President Mike Pence, 57, is staunchly anti-abortion, and anti-Planned Parenthood. A former senator himself, he’ll surely try to convince Trump to endorse the revised AHCA. Pence, as noted above, was one of the architects of the 2013 government shutdown, which occurred partially over an argument about federal Planned Parenthood funding. When the defunding came down to a 50-50 vote in March 2017, the vice president appeared in Congress to break the tie in favor of the financial cut.
What conservatives in favor of defunding, especially men, don’t understand is that Planned Parenthood is so much more than abortions. Many clinics don’t offer the service to begin with. Women go to Planned Parenthood to get birth control and IUDs, to receive annual breast exams and cancer screenings, and for gynecological visits — necessities for women to protect their overall health. Stripping away affordable healthcare access for 2.4 million women is not only going to infringe on women’s rights to abortion, but destroy their chance to be healthy.
HollywoodLifers, tell us how you feel about Planned Parenthood potentially being defunded.