Story and photos
By Terry Miller
On Monday, the House introduced their bill to block patients from receiving care at Planned Parenthood – also known as the “defund” bill.
According to Planned Parenthood, the bill is “a direct assault on the health and rights of millions.”
In response, Planned Parenthood supporters across the country showed up at their local congressional representative’s offices to voice their concerns.
Scores of local San Gabriel Valley community members gathered just outside Congresswoman Judy Chu’s office Tuesday to raise awareness about the impact of this bill and to learn how to help going forward.
“Our community gathered tonight as part of a national movement to show that the majority of Americans oppose efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. We believe that, regardless of who you are or where you live, you have a right to affordable, high quality healthcare and should be able to choose a provider like Planned Parenthood, who often is the only accessible provider in many communities for the reproductive health care that people need.
We should be clear that what ‘defunding’ Planned Parenthood really means is preventing millions of people from getting cervical and breast cancer screenings, STD tests and treatment, and a full range of birth control options. This is deeply unpopular with the American people and is contrary to the values of California.
These wrong minded proposals are particularly burdensome for those already facing the greatest obstacles to receiving quality healthcare, including low-income women of color and LGBT and Trans populations.
This fight is really about women’s lives. It’s about women’s ability to be safe and to have access to the health care services that they need.
Here in the 27th congressional district, we know that Congresswoman Judy Chu understands that many of her constituents rely on the services that Planned Parenthood provides and she’s at the forefront of the movement to protect these services. Tonight we thank her for her work and want her to see that the majority of her constituents have her back in this fight.”
Statement from Julianne Hines, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.
The hour long event garnered a lot of local support from passersby and local media.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has previously vowed to defund Planned Parenthood, and the new bill manages to do exactly that, by preventing Medicaid dollars from being used at the health-care facilities.
The GOP replacement bill states that Medicaid cannot directly or indirectly fund any health-care organization that “provides for abortions.”
Low-income women could be most affected by the proposal since Medicaid recipients typically earn far below the federal poverty line.
Due to the Hyde Amendment, however, federal dollars are already prohibited from being used on abortion. As a result, when Medicaid dollars are used at Planned Parenthood facilities, they help cover the cost of other procedures, such as mammograms, STD testing, or birth control. In short, the new bill restricts Medicaid funding to health-care providers like Planned Parenthood because they perform abortions, regardless of how the procedures are paid for.