In response to the congressional bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Physicians for Reproductive Health Board Chair Dr. Willie Parker issued the following statement:
“The bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a direct attack on many Americans’ access to health care and is especially devastating to women’s health. The repeal removes assistance that makes health care more affordable for families, puts a target on abortion coverage through private insurance, and blocks access for millions of women with Medicaid to vital preventive care through Planned Parenthood health centers.
Already, I see too many women who are denied abortion care because of their income and how that directly affects their well-being. This bill would chip away at many women’s ability to have insurance coverage for their medical needs and is the opposite of what my patients need for themselves and their families.
Many communities rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, and other vital preventive care. For people who rely on Medicaid coverage—including people of color, people with low incomes, and those who live in rural areas—and already face obstacles to getting health care, removing Planned Parenthood as an option would put essential health services further out of reach.
Every day, my colleagues and I see how the Affordable Care Act has improved our patients’ lives. To take away the assistance that the ACA provides is reprehensible, and it will be particularly damaging for patients from low- and moderate-income families. Repealing affordable care is to, in many ways, place care beyond the reach of people who can least afford to be without it. Our patients deserve better from Congress.”
Today, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would create much-needed federal protections against state-level restrictions on reproductive rights, was reintroduced in Congress. Dr. Anne Davis, Consulting Medical Director of Physicians for Reproductive Health, released a statement in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act’s reintroduction:
“We need a federal law like the Women’s Health Protection Act that prioritizes the health and safety of women over politics. More and more states are trying to pass restrictions that erase women from decisions about their own health care and take away their access to that care—the Women’s Health Protection Act would put a stop to these dangerous attacks. It would cement access to comprehensive reproductive care for all women, whether they live in Texas or New York, and keep politics out of the exam room. As physicians, we work every day to make sure all of our patients receive the high-quality health care they need in a safe, compassionate environment. It is critical to the lives and health of our patients that this bill passes to ensure access to the full range of reproductive health care services across the country.”
In response to President Trump withdrawing federal protections for transgender students, Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper, with Physicians for Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow, issued the following statement:
“As an organization that cares deeply about adolescent health, we think it’s unacceptable to reverse a guidance that is meant to protect children who already face significant challenges to their well-being. Transgender children are often rejected by their family and peers, harassed, traumatized and abused, and are at a higher risk for depression and suicide. Discouraging or punishing children for expressing their true sense of identity threatens their health and well-being, and schools have a special responsibility to protect all young people, regardless of gender identity or expression. Children thrive in open, honest environments that foster healthy decision-making. Schools should be at the forefront of the effort to create safe learning spaces for all students, not exposing thousands of children to discrimination.”
Today, the House of Representatives voted to overturn a rule President Obama put into place last year that clarified the qualifications for funding Title X family planning services. This critical rule reinforced the longstanding requirement that health care providers may not be excluded from the program for reasons unrelated to their qualifications to perform Title X-funded services. In overturning the rule, states may be emboldened to discriminate against health centers like Planned Parenthood and prevent them from receiving Title X funds. In response, Physicians for Reproductive Health Board Chair Dr. Willie Parker issued the following statement:
“Rolling back the rule on qualifications for Title X is dangerous—it could prevent millions of people across the country from getting the health care they need. Where I practice in the South, many of my patients, their families, and their communities rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, and other vital preventive care. Planned Parenthood is the only way some of my patients can stay healthy. The people who rely on Title X funding—including people of color, people with low incomes, and those who live in rural areas—already face obstacles to getting health care. If budgets are moral documents, then so are funding criteria. Nothing says more clearly to our most vulnerable citizens “you don’t matter” like restricting access to what they need to be healthy. The federal government’s priority should be improving Americans’ access to health care, not eliminating options.”
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