As if taking away the healthcare that thousands of people rely on away wasn’t enough, now Paul Ryan is saying the repeal of this healthcare will also usher in an age without Planned Parenthood.
In a statement this past Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Planned Parenthood would lose “hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding” in the Republican party’s plan to repeal Obamacare.
According to The Washington Post, “a defunding measure would appear in a special fast-track bill that is expected to pass Congress as soon as next month.”
Paul Ryan continued to say that Planned Parenthood “legislation” would be part of the Republicans’ “reconciliation bill.” This means the Republicans would use a “special congressional procedure” and bypass a Senate filibuster in order to get what they want. This reconciliation would only need a “simple majority” of senator votes to pass, instead of a 60-vote “supermajority.”
This statement was made two days after Republicans released a report about Planned Parenthood’s funding. In the report, they recommended the “nation’s largest abortion provider” stop receiving Medicaid reimbursements and federal family-planning funds.
“The GOP report also recommended that Congress allow states to exclude abortion providers from their Medicaid programs,” writes Mike DeBonis of The Washington Post.
In 2014, Planned Parenthood reported the government provided $533 million in funding. While Congress has not allowed federal funding to be used for abortion services since 1976, there is no law or rule saying Planned Parenthood cannot use those funds for the other vital services they provide.
If the Republican’s defunding process becomes a reality, Planned Parenthood could see roughly 40% of its funding at risk. Democrats flooded Capitol Hill on Thursday to protest the GOP’s attacks.
“We are going to stand against this with every fiber of our beings,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), co-chairwoman of the House Pro-Choice Caucus.
“This is now real,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said. “I would give a strong message to every member of Congress that you’re going to hold the bag on this if you try to hide behind a vote. The consequences are real.”
President Obama vetoed a 2015 reconciliation bill that would have “repealed major parts of Obamacare [that] also included language defunding Planned Parenthood.” With President-elect Donald Trump soon to take his place in the Oval Office, Republicans are confident he will sign the new reconciliation bill.
“As long as they do the abortion I am not for funding Planned Parenthood,” President-elect Trump said last year.
Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards has said the company takes the Republicans’ threat “very seriously” and has already put together a national campaign.
Planned Parenthood provides vital services to women and expectant mothers at little to no cost. As well as giving prenatal healthcare and reproductive care to women and young girls, Planned Parenthood provides sex education, STD testing, and information to millions of men, women, and young people across the world. Their website provides extensive information about what they do, how to volunteer, and even their Annual Report, which “look at the many ways Planned Parenthood is striving to create the healthiest generation ever. The current lists of Board members and key staff are listed in the Annual Report.”
According to CNN Money, it would cost roughly $350 billion (paid steadily over a decade) to fully repeal Obamacare. On the other hand, permanently defunding Planned Parenthood would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, “cost the government tens of millions of dollars” and deny about 650,000 women access to healthcare.