The Election Didn’t Shatter Your Health Care Overnight — But Get Ready to Fight for Your Reproductive Rights
By Miriam Berg | Nov. 11, 2016, 7:39 p.m.
Category: Abortion Access, Voting
Since Donald Trump was elected president, Planned Parenthood health centers have received a deluge of calls from patients and supporters asking if they can still get the health care they need, if Planned Parenthood is staying open — and even if abortion is still legal. Don’t panic: The election did not shatter your reproductive health care access overnight. Abortion is still legal. Planned Parenthood health centers’ doors are still open. And Planned Parenthood is staying open, just like it did through last year’s attacks; and just like it has for 100 years.
But with the coming administration, we may have a huge fight on our hands. Here are a few of Planned Parenthood patients’ biggest concerns right now, and the answers you need to take care of your health. We’re also sharing what you need to know so you can get ready to fight like hell and make sure everyone in this country still has access to reproductive health care.
Q: Did the election make abortion illegal?
A: No. Safe, legal abortion is still the law of the land.
It’s true that Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to outlaw abortion, and that Trump has pledged to appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court who’d try to overturn Roe v. Wade. But they’re not in office yet. President Obama is still our president, and Roe v. Wade still protects your right to safe, legal abortion. You have the exact same access to abortion today as you did on Election Day.
What’s more, the election doesn’t change the fact that the majority of all Americans — including those who supported President-elect Trump — want abortion to stay legal and safe.
Q: Did Planned Parenthood shut down?
A: Nope. Planned Parenthood’s doors are open, and they’re staying open.
All Planned Parenthood health centers are open as usual, and staff are doing what they’ve always done: Getting up in the morning; opening the health center doors; and providing high-quality, affordable health care to all people who need it.
This year, President Obama took steps to help protect access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers — but the proposal isn’t permanent, and the next administration could undo it. Vice President-elect Mike Pence has been on a years-long crusade against Planned Parenthood. In fact, he started the whole “defund” Planned Parenthood thing — trying, time and again, to block patients who rely on public funds from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Trump’s anti-Planned Parenthood stance is the same; he even said he’d shut down the government in order to “defund” Planned Parenthood.
Even with all that, remember: Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years. No matter how great the threat, nothing has ever overcome Planned Parenthood’s commitment to its patients. Planned Parenthood’s doors stay open, no matter what.
Millions of people continue to come to Planned Parenthood health centers for affordable, quality health care services. That includes birth control, STD testing, cancer screening, well-woman exams, and abortion. It also includes hormone replacement therapy and other services, depending on the location. Go to PlannedParenthood.org to find a health center near you, and see what services they provide.
Q: I’m worried about health care coverage. Should I get health care services as soon as possible?
A: Yes — but remember that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and all its benefits are still here for you.
President Obama made history when he signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. Under the ACA, an estimated 20 million people gained health care coverage. Fifty-five million women now have access to preventive care (such as birth control and cancer screenings) free without a copay. What’s more, women are no longer charged more than men for health care coverage; individuals are no longer denied coverage because of so-called “pre-existing conditions” (like having had a C-section or being a survivor of domestic violence); and young people can stay on their parent’s coverage up to age 26.
Despite all those benefits, Trump and other Republican leaders have promised to repeal the ACA. In fact, Trump said he will repeal it on his first day in office (Jan. 21). It is clear they are on a mission to roll back the historic gains Obama put into place. This would mean taking health care away from all those people who gained it, and making all those women pay more for birth control.
However, it is important to remember that the ACA is still in effect, just like it has been for over six years. The ACA won’t disappear on Jan. 21 — it will stay in effect until there is a change in law. So...
If you don’t have health insurance, enroll now (the deadline is Jan. 31). If you enroll by Dec. 15, you can get covered as early as Jan. 1. Most people who are uninsured get financial help to buy a plan.
Go to Planned Parenthood Health Insurance Facts to see the plans you’re eligible for and which include Planned Parenthood health centers. The site also helps you find local, in-person assistance.
If you have health insurance, then take care of yourself and make your medical appointments. Get the care you deserve and are entitled to under the law. (Remember: almost all plans cover the full range of birth control methods for free without a copay.) You may be able to use your insurance at a Planned Parenthood health center.
If you have a health plan through the Marketplace on HealthCare.Gov, go back to the Marketplace to update your information and make sure your plan fits your needs. Even if you’ve looked before, health insurance plans and costs change every year, and you may be able get financial assistance for your plan.
Join the Movement to Protect Health Care Access
Seven things you can do right now to support Planned Parenthood patients and the communities they serve.
Planned Parenthood health centers will be there for you with expert, confidential, and nonjudgmental care. And, as we have done year after year, we will be fighting with all our hearts to block harmful policies. It’s up to everyone who cares about reproductive rights to join the fight.
Tags: Abortion, Planned Parenthood, Election 2016