Yesterday, five Planned Parenthood patients came to Washington to visit lawmakers and impress upon them the importance of standing up for Planned Parenthood.

They met with over 20 members of Congress and Senators. These were meetings with pro-women’s health members to share stories of more people who will be hurt if the AHCA goes through the Senate and to warn that efforts during the appropriations process or other standalone defund PP bills are likely to come.

They also dropped by the offices of anti-women’s health members and senators to remind them that any vote to strip health care from millions of people under the ACA or by defunding PP is wildly unpopular and will have devastating consequences for people like our patients.

The patients then attended the New Member reception, honoring the freshmen pro-women’s health members elected last November.  Deja Foxx stole the show with her remarks encouraging others to take a stand and for the members of Congress in attendance to continue to listen to and lift up young people’s voices, especially young women of color (leading to a few attempts to recruit her to attendees’ alma maters).

 

Patients:

Deja Foxx, AZ

Deja is a 17-year-old McSally constituent in Tucson whose question to Sen. Jeff Flake at his town hall went viral. Deja is a powerhouse: She successfully created a movement in her school district to change the sex education curriculum and make it relevant to her generation. She now sits on the committee rewriting the curriculum. She is also a “youth on their own” meaning for much of her adolescence she was living without a permanent residence.

Refinery29: Watch This 16-Year-Old Girl School A Republican Senator On Planned Parenthood

 

Melissa Garcia, AZ

As a first generation Mexican-American child, Melissa is passionate about organizing on issues that have marginalized my community. As a patient and supporter of Planned Parenthood, in 2015, she moved to Tucson and  started working as an organizer. Last week, Melissa organized a women's field hearing in Tucson with Mayor Jonathan Rothschild where Planned Parenthood patients, health care experts, and people who rely on the ACA gave testimony about the impact of the ACA repeal bill and “defunding” Planned Parenthood.

 

Thalia “Tobby” Cassuto, NY

Tobby is an 86-year-old Faso constituent who has reached troll level: Expert by showing up at his office every week, and last week organized an empty chair townhall. Tobby has been an activist since before the Nixon administration, and has marched for just about every progressive cause at some point. She was a patient in 1955 as a newlywed in NYC, before the Griswold decision legalized birth control.

Huffington Post: Thalia Cassuto Remembers When Birth Control Became Legal. She’s Fighting To Keep It That Way.

 

Karyn Logan, CO/NM

Karyn is a parent to four, a veteran, and a trans woman. She accessed HRT at Planned Parenthood in Denver when she could not find a provider who would accept Medicaid in Colorado Springs, where she lived at the time. Today she lives with her family in Albuquerque.

 

Dayna Farris-Fisher, TX

Dayna is a long-time advocate in Plano/Dallas, and a breast cancer survivor. She was featured in Cecile’s congressional testimony, and has done a lot of work with PPGT. She was uninsured when she found a lump in her breast, and other providers who would see an uninsured patient had waiting times of several weeks. She went to Planned Parenthood, where they helped to coordinate her care and get her coverage for testing and treatment. By the time she got into surgery - the same time she would have got her initial appointment if Planned Parenthood hadn’t been there - the tumor had doubled in size.

Tags: Congress, ACA, Recess, Planned Parenthood, AHCA, Obamacare

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