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When Donald Trump was elected president, we knew he could pose a grave threat to health care access, reproductive freedom, and equal rights in this country. That threat feels even more real as he assembles an administration of politicians with long records of attacking women’s rights and access to health care.

Just look at Trump’s choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Representative Tom Price. Price is an extreme women’s health opponent who doesn’t understand the lives of women in this country. Price wants to eliminate no-copay birth control for 55 million women and allow insurance companies to charge women more than men for the same health coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

If he had his way, Price would restrict access to safe, legal abortion and block access to Planned Parenthood. He would strip millions of Americans of their access to no-copay preventive services, including STI screenings, life-saving cancer screenings, and birth control. He would do this all regardless of the consequences.

The HHS Secretary is supposed to be an advocate for the health and well-being of all Americans, but Price would rather enact these policies that reduce access to health care and increase disparities.

Let’s be clear, Massachusetts is not immune to these threats. If Price and Republicans in Congress succeed in repealing the ACA, the women of our state could once again face financial barriers when attempting to access contraception. While Massachusetts was a leader in health care reform and has long required contraception to be covered like any other prescription, current state law does not prevent insurers from charging copays on contraception. Price falsely claims “there’s not one woman” who wouldn’t be able to afford birth control, but women know differently, as do the facts.

Price would take women in Massachusetts and across the country back decades. But we won’t go back.

Reproductive health and rights advocates are in for the biggest fight of our lives over the next four years, and Planned Parenthood will do everything it can to protect everyone’s health care access from the dangerous policies Price and others in the upcoming administration support. No matter what happens on a national level, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts will continue to advocate for contraceptive equity legislation that protects no-copay birth control in our state and will pursue other smart health policies aimed at safeguarding and strengthening the progress we’ve made. 

It is more important than ever that we make Massachusetts a national leader in health care and equal rights, and we can achieve that goal together. Join a coalition of over 30 progressive organizations, including the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, for the Sexual Health Lobby Day at the State House in Boston: January 31st. This is an opportunity to meet with your state legislators in person to tell them you expect them to defend the rights we’ve all fought so hard for – and to champion state policies that improve reproductive health, rights, and justice in Massachusetts.

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