The House’s Obamacare Repeal Bill Would 'Defund' Planned Parenthood. Here’s The Truth About What That Means.

This week, the House will mark up a bill that would decimate the Affordable Care Act and could leave millions of Americans uninsured. As if that weren’t destructive enough, it also contains language that would “defund” Planned Parenthood health centers. Taken together, these two actions would devastate access to health care generally, and reproductive health care in particular.

The way some anti-choice members of Congress talk about it, you’d think that there’s a line item for Planned Parenthood in the federal budget every year. But that's not true. In fact, Planned Parenthood health centers operate like any other health care provider: They serve patients and are reimbursed by insurance companies for the care that they provide. Because Planned Parenthood is a key safety-net provider serving many low-income women, men, and young people, many of the patients they serve are insured through the federal Medicaid program.

So what would it actually mean to “defund” Planned Parenthood?

The reality is that Congress is considering legislation that would block patients who qualify for Medicaid from going to Planned Parenthood health centers. That’s right — this bill specifically targets low-income patients by prohibiting them from accessing services like birth control, cancer screenings, and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment at the Planned Parenthood health centers they trust. Seventy-five percent of Planned Parenthood’s patients have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level — just $12,060 for an individual — and more than half of Planned Parenthood’s 650 health centers are located in rural or medically underserved areas.

We know what this is really about. Anti-choice members of Congress want to restrict access to abortion in any way they can. They want to punish Planned Parenthood for providing safe, legal abortion services and are even telling angry constituents at home that they want to defund Planned Parenthood to stop taxpayer funding of abortion.

But there’s a pretty big problem with that: It doesn't work that way.

Federal dollars can’t be used to pay for abortions — except in very limited circumstances — as a result of the Hyde Amendment. This is a harmful, discriminatory policy that should be eliminated, and pro-choice champions in Congress
have introduced a bill to do just that. Nevertheless, Hyde remains in place for now, so the claim that defunding Planned Parenthood would stop taxpayers from funding abortion is a hollow one.

The truth is anti-choice Members of Congress want to force Planned Parenthood health centers to close their doors — even if it means closing the doors on millions of low-income people who rely on Planned Parenthood for cervical cancer screenings, tests and treatment for HIV and other STIs, and birth control. These lifesaving preventive services make up the vast majority of what Planned Parenthood does.

And while Planned Parenthood’s opponents claim that patients can just go elsewhere, the fact is that other providers simply cannot fill the void that would be left in many communities if Planned Parenthood health centers close. We’ve seen how this plays out at the state level.

We know what this is really about. Anti-choice members of Congress want to restrict access to abortion in any way they can.

When Texas cut family planning funding in 2011 in an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, the results were disastrous for women in the state. Last month, a Texas court blocked the state from cutting off Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood, which would have limited patient options even further. And it’s not just Texas. States across the country have attempted to block patient access to Planned Parenthood health centers, including in Florida, Missouri, and Iowa.

We can’t let this happen nationwide.

So the next time you hear Congress talk about “defunding” Planned Parenthood, you’ll know the truth: that they want to cut off access to the affordable, high-quality care that Planned Parenthood provides to over 2 million people every year.

And if you stand with the millions who rely on that care, call your senators and representative and let them know you’ll hold them accountable for their vote.

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Real American

this whole story is a fictitious lie made up by the radical left. the truth is that Planned Parenthood gets 500 million dollars a year. and yes it is true that they cannot use that money to fund abortions but it frees them up to use other money to slaughter innocent babies. So once again you can see that liberalism is a mental disorder.

Melissa

You are no "real American." A real American would not turn his back on the millions of impoverished women (and men) who receive health care at PP who have NOWHERE else to turn. Defunding PP would lead to MORE ABORTIONS as women would not have access to birth control and education. The FACT is that unwanted pregnancy in this country is down 47% in the last ten years: there is no abortion crisis, this is a lie told to manipulate you. Abortion is legal in this country, you are NOT a patriot you are a traitor to the law .

S.R.

The only apparent lie here is your supposed name: "Real American."
Real Americans understand that defending the Constitutional freedoms and rights of ALL Americans - that means both conservative and liberal - does not diminish their own.
What are you doing here, on the ACLU site? This is an odd place for you to be, if all you came to do was spew hateful words where others are fighting for YOUR rights too. Your behavior is called trolling. TROLL, GO AWAY!

Anonymous

You care about the innocent babies before they are born yet give two shits what happens to them after.

sgarcata

Fetuses are NOT "babies" except in your imagination. Most anti-abortion folks are only interested in caring for fetuses; somehow a "live" baby ceases to interest you.

Anonymous

keep ur bullshit right sided stupid mouth shut

Jonathan Berke

You're either willfully ignorant, or simply ignorant. Either way, you're also incorrect. Everything in this posting is accurate.

Ilana

Do you have a source for that information? Because in case you didn't notice, every underlined bit of text is a link to source material for the article. This article has done its research. So again, sources or get out with your false claims.

Anonymous

Thank you for speaking your conscience!

Anonymous

Melissa you can get all services except abortion at other clinics.

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