As the Trump administration takes shape, it is bringing on more and more people who vehemently oppose safe and legal abortion, access to Planned Parenthood, and even birth control.
First, President-elect Donald Trump appointed former Breitbart News head Steve Bannon as his senior counselor, a man who oversaw a terrifying agenda of sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-LGBT attacks on the website, as well as horrifying comments about Planned Parenthood and abortion providers.
Then, Trump nominated Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General. Sessions has a long record of attacking women’s access to health care — including safe and legal abortion — and holds dangerous, wrongheaded views on civil rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, and immigration.
Now, Trump is nominating extreme women’s health opponent Rep. Tom Price to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), a department whose mission is to "enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans.”
Instead of promising to protect all Americans’ health, Price poses a real threat to women’s health in this country. If he has his way, millions of women would be cut off from basic preventive health services like birth control, cancer screenings, and STD tests at Planned Parenthood health centers. What’s more, Price opposes safe, legal abortion, and he plans to repeal the ACA — which would take no-copay birth control away from 55 million women. His positions stand to take women back decades.
We see a disturbing trend in Trump’s administration: Its leadership is shaping up to be anti-abortion, and it’s antithetical to everything Planned Parenthood and its supporters stand for. At this rate, we'll soon see the most anti-woman administration in modern history.
Who Is Tom Price?
Price has a long and extreme record of opposing no-copay birth control and policies that both reduce health care access and increase disparities
What You Need to Know About Tom Price
Fear of an HHS secretary like Price is why Planned Parenthood has seen a significant increase in in online appointments for birth control, with a more than ten-fold increase in people seeking IUDs the first week following the election. People are worried they will lose their health care.
Below are just a few reasons Price’s nomination is dangerous.
Despite clear evidence to the contrary, Price believes
“there’s not one woman” who doesn’t have access to birth control.Rep. Tom Price, 2/10/2012
One in three women voters have struggled to afford prescription birth control, including 55% of young women aged 18 to 34.
20.2 million women in the U.S. needed publicly funded family planning services like birth control in 2014, an increase of 1 million since 2010.
Despite these facts, Price still harbors the ignorant belief that every single woman in America already has access to affordable birth control.
Price wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
And has supported 65 attempts to repeal it.
55 million women would lose access to no-copay preventive services, including birth control, STD screenings, and lifesaving breast cancer screenings and pap tests.
Being a woman could once again be considered a pre-existing condition, allowing health insurers to deny health coverage to tens of millions of women.
Insurance companies would once again be able to use “gender rating” to charge women hundreds of dollars more per year than men for the same coverage.
Women would pay an estimated $1 billion more than men for the same health care plans if “gender rating” is allowed again.
Millions of low-income women would lose their health insurance, which they gained through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
Price wants to cut off women’s access to basic services at Planned Parenthood health centers.
“Defunding” Planned Parenthood has already been proven to have devastating consequences:
Blocking patients from Planned Parenthood in Texas was associated with a 35% decline in women in publicly funded programs using the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27% increase in births among women who had previously accessed injectable contraception through those programs.
In Wisconsin and Texas, fewer women could access lifesaving cancer screenings following the closure of Planned Parenthood health centers.
The projected net cost to taxpayers of “defunding” Planned Parenthood would be $130 million over 10 years because of an increase in unintended pregnancies without the high-quality contraceptive care Planned Parenthood health centers provide.
What’s more, blocking patients from care at health centers has a disproportionate impact on communities of color — who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care.
Price would interfere with women’s access to safe and legal abortion.
Despite repeated statements that “patients, families and doctors should be making health decisions, not Washington DC.”
In Congress, Price has routinely voted in favor of dangerous bills that would:
Restrict abortion access;
Block patients from preventive care at Planned Parenthood;
Interfere in the doctor-patient relationship;
Prevent medical students from being trained on how to provide abortion;
Block insurance coverage of abortion;
Repeal the Affordable Care Act; and
Allow bosses to deny birth control coverage.
Next Step for Price: U.S. Senate Decision
Our nation’s HHS Secretary should aim to break down barriers to health care. Instead, Tom Price wants to build more. These barriers to care especially hurt people who already face inequities and barriers in the health care system — including people of color, people who live in rural areas, people with low incomes, and immigrant communities.
So, what happens now? The decision goes to the U.S. Senate. There, we hope each senator gives Price’s record the full examination it deserves. It’s up to them to decide whether a man who wants to deny 55 million women no co-pay birth control will really protect the health of all Americans.