With the recent withdrawal of the American Health Care Act, a Republican-sponsored bill that would have repealed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), supporters and patients of Planned Parenthood can take a momentary sigh of relief. During his campaign and after winning the 2016 presidential election, President Donald J. Trump promised Americans that he would fight to “repeal and replace” the ACA, signed into law by former President Barack Obama in 2010. But after House Republican leaders pulled legislation to repeal the ACA from consideration on the House floor, President Trump’s promises fell flat.
Repealing the ACA would have eliminated Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood clinics for one year--funding that represents 30% of their budget. A de-funding of Planned Parenthood would have decreased the accessibility and affordability of basic healthcare services especially among low-income women. Planned Parenthood offers many types of birth control, sexual health counseling, cancer and diabetes screenings, STD testing, and vaccinations. Clinics across the U.S. provide such forms of birth control as condoms, the pill, the implant, the IUD (intrauterine device), the patch, the Depo-Provera shot, and the NuvaRing. Although they do provide abortions, this is only 3% of the services that they offer. Men and women with already limited access to primary care greatly benefit from the free or low-cost services provided by Planned Parenthood.
In fact, as many as 5 million women, men, and adolescents worldwide are served by Planned Parenthood in a single year. That includes sexual and reproductive health care, education, information, and outreach. Through these services, Planned Parenthood health centers focus on prevention of unintended pregnancy and support an individual’s right to make informed decisions about their own body.
By Monica Roque