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Planned Parenthood Opposes Senate Repeal Bill - Demands Senate Reject Worst Bill for Women's Health in a Generation - 06/22/17

 
Cecile Richards: "If this is the Senate's idea of a bill with heart, then the women of America should have fear struck in theirs.  Slashing Medicaid and blocking millions of women from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood is beyond heartless. One in five women in this country rely on Planned Parenthood for care. They will not stay silent as politicians vote to take away their care and their rights."  
 
Washington, DC -- Planned Parenthood Federation of America strongly opposes the just released Senate version of the American Health Care Act.
 
This bill is the worst bill for women in a generation. In addition to "defunding" Planned Parenthood and slashing Medicaid, it guts Essential Health Benefit protections, including maternity coverage and prescription drugs. Thirteen million women could lose coverage to maternity care under this bill. This bill would disproportionately impact women who already face unfair barriers to care, including low-income women and women of color.
 
Experts agree the "defund" Planned Parenthood provision is a violation of the Byrd Rule because it is politically motivated policy, similar to the tax credit provision related to abortion. It has no place on reconciliation because it violates these rules, and it has no place on any legislation because it is the epitome of a mean-spirited policy that hurts millions of women.
 
CNN reported: "Many aides believe the Senate Parliamentarian will strike this provision down on Byrd Rule grounds."
 
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. It's clear that the American people strongly oppose blocking women from going to Planned Parenthood for preventive care. We must get louder than ever so our elected officials finally start listening to us.
 
Planned Parenthood grassroots organizing has been a driving force in opposing Trumpcare and efforts to "defund" Planned Parenthood. For months, an army of pink Planned Parenthood patients, supporters, and advocates have held protest rallies, spoken out at Congressional town halls, called their members of Congress, delivered petitions to Congressional offices, and hosted field hearings.
 
Over the last several months, Planned Parenthood supporters have:
 
* made more than 157,429 phone calls to members of Congress
* organized more than 2,200 events across the country, including rallies, petition drops, phone banks and marches
* delivered close to 1 million petitions to members of Congress in opposition to  "defunding" Planned Parenthood.


Like the House bill, the Senate bill was largely negotiated by men behind closed doors, so it is not surprising that it closely mirrors the House version of the American Health Care Act, and would:

* 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 STI 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.
 
Blocking people's access to Planned Parenthood is deeply unpopular with both health care experts and Americans.   
 
* The provision to prohibit people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood has drawn widespread opposition from health care experts, including the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; members of Congress from both parties; and a clear majority of American voters.
 
* A Quinnipiac poll shows that 80% of voters support Planned Parenthood and oppose efforts to block people from getting care at Planned Parenthood.
 
Blocking people's access to Planned Parenthood would have a devastating impact on people's health.
 
* If enacted, prohibiting individuals from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers would have a devastating impact on the 2.4 million people who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential health services.
 
* In March, the Congressional Budget Office estimated 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 and where Planned Parenthood serves low-income populations. More than half of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage areas, rural or medically underserved areas. Experts have repeatedly said that other providers cannot absorb Planned Parenthood's patients.
 
* 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. Federal law already blocks federal funding from going to abortion services.
 
A number of Republican Senators have expressed their support for Planned Parenthood.
 
* Three Republican Senators have publicly stated opposition to "defunding" Planned Parenthood. Senator Susan Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski have been clear in their opposition,  
 
* In April, Senator Dean Heller, in a town hall with 600 of his constituents, said he would "protect Planned Parenthood." Nevadans expect him to keep his word.

Statement by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

"If this is the Senate's idea of a bill with heart, then the women of America should have fear struck in theirs.  Slashing Medicaid and blocking millions of women from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood is beyond heartless. "The Senate bill closely mirrors the House bill, which has been widely criticized as 'mean' and the worst bill for women's health in a generation."
 
"Each and every senator should listen to the American people and vote against this legislation."
 
"If this bill passes the Senate, the consequences are dire:
"It would 'defund' Planned Parenthood; gut maternity coverage; strip millions of their health insurance; force new moms back to work shortly after giving birth; and reduce access to contraception."

"In short, this bill makes it harder to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a family."

"One in five women in this country rely on Planned Parenthood for care. They are demanding that the Senate reject this bill and keep Planned Parenthood's doors open."
 
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Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon (PPSO) has been dedicated to providing expert reproductive health care and sexuality education in Southwestern Oregon for over 50 years. PPSO provides more than 30,000 patient visits each year at six health centers. PPSO is also the region's most respected provider of medically accurate sexuality education for young people and adults, as well as training programs for professionals who work with youth and families. Education and training programs make over 8,000 contacts each year, transforming the lives of young people in southwestern Oregon. PPSO's essential health services include breast and cervical cancer screenings, well-woman annual exams, birth control, STD prevention, testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, and HPV vaccinations. For more information, visit www.ppsworegon.org.

Trump Administration Moves to Roll Back Access to Birth Control - 06/01/17

Eugene, OR - This week, a leaked rule appeared to unveil the Trump administration's intent to significantly roll back access to birth control through the Affordable Care Act.

This rule comes as the Senate considers the Affordable Health Care Act -- the worst legislation for women's health in a generation. If passed, the AHCA would block millions of Medicaid patients from coming to Planned Parenthood for health care, kick 23 million people off of their health insurance, undermine maternity coverage, and cause premiums for women to skyrocket.

"This rule would mean no matter where she works, from private universities to huge, publicly-traded companies, any woman across the country could be denied insurance coverage for birth control based on whether her employer objects to it," said Lisa Gardner, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon. "Plain and simple, a woman's most basic and personal of decisions -- when and if to have a child -- could now be impacted by her boss."

"It's no coincidence that this rule comes as an all-male panel of Senators meets behind closed doors to determine the future of women's health care in America. Women's health and lives have been directly in the crosshairs since day one of this administration. It is abhorrent that this administration would directly attack birth control -- something that the vast majority of women rely on. This is not about religious liberty -- this is about restricting women's access to basic health care," Gardner said. "Out-of-pocket costs for birth control can run hundreds of dollars -- extra money that many women simply don't have. Birth control is essential for women's health and lives, and should never be a decision made by a woman's employer. The Trump administration should not release it."

Background
The rule, if issued in the leaked format, will allow any employer or school (nonprofit or for-profit) to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage, for religious or moral reasons. It also allows insurers to opt out of providing coverage, on the basis of any religious or moral objection, and for the first time would allow individuals to request their health insurance companies not cover birth control. The rule does maintain the accommodation worked out by the Obama administration as a voluntary option, presumably for employers who want to provide coverage but don't want to pay for it. The birth control accommodation put into place by the Obama administration ensured that employers and schools could not impose their religious views on others, by providing women access to no-copay birth control regardless of their employers' or schools' objection to birth control.

The rule would go into effect immediately, with a 60-day comment period.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, after the Affordable Care Act's birth control provision took effect, fewer than 4 percent of American women had to pay out of pocket for oral birth control. That number was more than 20 percent before the law's passage.

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Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon (PPSO) has been dedicated to providing expert reproductive health care and sex education in Southwestern Oregon for over 50 years. PPSO sees over 30,000 patients each year at six health centers. PPSO is also the region's most respected provider of medically accurate sex education for young people and adults, as well as training programs for professionals who work with youth and families. Education and training programs make over 8,000 contacts each year, transforming the lives of young people in southwestern Oregon. PPSO's essential health services include breast and cervical cancer screenings, well-woman annual exams, birth control, STD prevention, testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, vasectomies, and HPV vaccinations. For more information, visit www.ppsworegon.org.