SEATTLE – Today, Planned Parenthood expressed grave concerns about President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to nominate extreme women’s health opponent Representative Tom Price (R-GA) to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Statement from Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii:

“Tom Price poses a grave threat to women’s health in this country. If Price had his way, millions of women could be cut off from Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services like birth control, cancer screenings and STD tests. From his plan to take no-copay birth control away from 55 million women and allow insurance companies to charge women more for the same health coverage, to his opposition to safe and legal abortion, Price could take women back decades.

“Price’s continued statements about reproductive health care demonstrate his lack of understanding of women. For example, 20.2 million women need publicly funded contraception, but he has falsely stated that every single woman in America already has access to affordable birth control.     

“The role of HHS Secretary is meant to break down barriers and safeguard access to health care. Tom Price wants to create more barriers that disproportionally impact those 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.

“The Senate should give Representative Price’s record the full examination it deserves. Meanwhile, we at Planned Parenthood will continue to work to ensure that everyone – including the 2.5 million patients we serve each year – has access to the basic health care they depend on, no matter what.”

BACKGROUND

  • Price believes “there’s not one woman” who doesn’t have access to birth control.
    • A Hart Research poll found that one in three women voters have struggled to afford prescription birth control, including 55 percent of young women aged 18 to 34.
  • Price wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and has supported 65 attempts to repeal it, which means:
  • 55 million women would lose access to no-copay preventive services, including birth control, STI screenings, and life-saving preventive services such as 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.
  • Women would pay an estimated $1 billion more than men for the same health care plans if “gender rating” was allowed again.
  • Millions of low-income women would lose their health insurance, which they have gained through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. In 2015, Medicaid covered 17% of women ages 19-64 (16.66 million), up from 10% in 2008 (pre-ACA).
  • Price wants to cut off women’s access to basic health services at Planned Parenthood, which has already been proven to have devastating consequences:
  • A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that blocking patients from going to 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.
  • 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. For example, in Texas, researchers found that more than half of women reported at least one barrier to reproductive health care. Spanish-speaking women from Mexico were more likely to report three or more barriers.
  • Pregnancy-related deaths in Texas have nearly doubled since 2010 – coinciding with stringent funding cuts for women’s health care and defunding Planned Parenthood.
  • The CBO projects that the net cost to taxpayers if Planned Parenthood is defunded would be $130 million over 10 years because of an increase in unintended pregnancies without the high-quality contraceptive care we provide.