WASHINGTON D.C. - As the Senate GOP posted bill text that repeals the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of Planned Parenthood patients and supporters from across the country rallied outside the U.S. Capitol to speak out against Trumpcare and in support of Planned Parenthood.
Grassroots advocates joined Planned Parenthood patients to send a strong message: stop trying to destroy health care for millions and stop attacks on Planned Parenthood. Grassroots advocates cosponsored the event, including Advocates for Youth, American Family Voices, Black Women for Wellness, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Feminist Majority, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), MoveOn, National Abortion Federation (NAF), National Latina Institute for Reproductive Rights (NLIRH), and Population Connection Action Fund.
The Senate has just posted bill text that repeals the Affordable Care Act. The text largely mirrors the 2015 legislation to repeal Obamacare -- a bill that would take away health care from millions and prevent millions from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers for basic, preventive care. Sen. McConnell has announced the Senate will vote on this bill next week. Planned Parenthood demands the Senate listen to the American people and reject this bill.
Planned Parenthood grassroots organizing has been a driving force in opposing Trumpcare and efforts to “defund” Planned Parenthood. For months, an army of pink-clad Planned Parenthood patients, supporters, and advocates have taken thousands of actions from coast to coast including protest rallies, speaking out at Congressional town halls, calling their members of Congress, delivering petitions to Congressional offices, and hosting field hearings.
Over the last several months, Planned Parenthood supporters have:
Made more than 180,000 phone calls to members of Congress
Organized more than 2,400 events across the country, including rallies, petition drops, phone banks, and marches
Delivered over 1 million petition signatures to members of Congress in opposition to “defunding” Planned Parenthood.
Quote from Kelley Robinson, National Organizing Director, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
We are here to tell Senate leadership that we will not stand for attacks on women's health and attacks on Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood supporters will not rest, will not stop organizing, and will not stop speaking out against the worst bill for women’s health until the Senate votes no on Trumpcare. Americans across the country will not stand for health care being stripped from millions, and they will not stand to see Planned Parenthood’s patients losing access to health care.
The event was cosponsored by the grassroots organizations that are leading the resistance across the country: Advocates for Youth, American Family Voices, Black Women for Wellness, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Feminist Majority, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), MoveOn, National Abortion Federation (NAF), National Latina Institute for Reproductive Rights (NLIRH), and Population Connection Action Fund.
Quote from Ben Wikler, Washington Director, MoveOn:
"It's time for every undeclared Republican senator to stand with women and commit to voting against the Motion to Proceed on any bill that takes away care from those who need. Everywhere Republican senators go, from Capitol Hill to their local car wash, they're going to hear from constituents who are furious that they'd even think about voting to put their lives at risk."
Quote from Ann Marie Benitez Managing Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Rights (NLIRH):
“NLIRH firmly believes that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a critical first step in ensuring Latinxs have access to the affordable healthcare they deserve, and when they need it. Thanks to the ACA, Latinxs have seen the largest reduction of the uninsured rate than any other group. Because of provisions like the Medicaid expansion, the uninsured rate among Latinas fell by 35 percent since the passage of the ACA. The ACA is working for our communities, and we cannot afford to go without the level of care, coverage, and consumer protections that it currently provides. It is a clear threat to health equity, and the well-being of Latinxs, our families, and our communities. NLIRH remains committed to defending the ACA and other critical health programs that ensure the right to quality, affordable healthcare for communities with low-incomes, Latinxs and other people of color. We cannot allow Congress to keep playing political games with our access to critical and affordable healthcare. Any bill to replace the Affordable Care Act should cover more people and provide better coverage -- not take it away. NLIRH urges the Senate to vote NO against the ACA repeal.”
Quote from Jan Robinson-Flint, Executive Director, Black Women for Wellness:
“Black Women for Wellness is standing in solidarity with Planned Parenthood as our health is at stake. Reproductive health disparities plague our communities and every plan that has been presented exasperates those health disparities. BWW is working to maintain health coverage, increase health services and eliminate health disparities facing the real women and girls in our communities. The present administration seems intent upon petty politics that are vindictive, cold blooded and hard hearted. Women need to stand together, a group of all men, all white men going into a back room to secretly conjure up a plan that impacts more than 50% of the populations needs to know we will stand together, not be ignored, denied, excluded – no plans for us without us.”
Quote from Debra Hauser, President, Advocates for Youth:
“Advocates for Youth and the young people we serve stand steadfastly in support of Planned Parenthood. Attempts by this Congress to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood are unethical and dangerous and, if successful would greatly jeopardize the health and wellbeing of this nation’s youth. Health care should not be discretionary nor a privilege reserved for the wealthy. All young people deserve to lead safe and healthy lives. Congress’ failure to repeal Obamacare is an important step in the right direction.”
Quote from Emily Tisch Sussman, Campaigns Director, Center for American Progress Action Fund:
“No matter how many times and how many ways Senate Republicans try to repeal the ACA, there is no acceptable version of it because it’s unacceptable to take health care away from millions of Americans. It’s now time for the GOP stop trying to win political points and come to the table to work with Democrats to stabilize the markets and improve our health care system.”
Quote from Laura Windsor, Executive Director, American Family Voices:
“At American Family Voices, we believe that health care is a human right. We fought to get the Affordable Care Act passed, and we are fighting to save it from repeal. This fight is personal for me, as is the fight to protect Planned Parenthood. That’s because I have a chronic dry-skin disorder called psoriasis. For many years, before Obamacare, I couldn’t buy health insurance -- even with a rider excluding my skin condition. Planned Parenthood was an invaluable resource to me as a women’s health provider then, and it continues to be an invaluable resource for millions of women today. We demand that Republicans stop attacking access to care."
Quote from Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority:
“Every version of Trumpcare put out by Mitch McConnell, if passed, would kill people and jobs. Women have the most to lose in any bill that defunds Planned Parenthood, guts Medicaid, or takes away coverage for women, children, people with disabilities or the elderly. That's why overwhelming numbers of women have successfully fought this cruel plan every step of the way,” said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal. “A straight repeal of the ACA would force 32 million people off their healthcare plans and double the cost of premiums in the marketplace. That’s not giving people more options; that’s a death sentence for those in need of lifesaving care and a show of complete disregard for the women in this country who deserve access to healthcare.”
Quote from Brian Dixon, Senior Vice President for Media and Government Relations, Population Connection Action Fund:
“We stand with our friends in the progressive community for health care for all, and against attacks on the Affordable Care Act. We are grateful that for now, the bill that would rip lifesaving healthcare away from our most vulnerable neighbors, slash access to reproductive health care, and result in catastrophic financial pain to those already struggling to make ends meet has been killed. We continue to stand with our partners to defend good, affordable health and to ensure this is a right, and not a privilege.”
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.