WASHINGTON D.C. – As the Senate voted on yet another version of Trumpcare that would strip millions of their health care and block Medicaid patients from accessing life-saving preventive care at Planned Parenthood, 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.
Speakers included Leader Nancy Pelosi; Senator Al Franken; Rev. Barber; Senator Kamala Harris; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto; Rep. Jan Schakowsky; Bethany Van Kampen, Policy Analyst at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH); and Planned Parenthood patients from around the country.
Grassroots advocates joined Planned Parenthood patients to send a strong message: stop trying to take away health care for millions and stop attacks on Planned Parenthood. Grassroots advocates cosponsored the event, including National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Color of Change, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, Catholics for Choice, Religious Institute, Concerned Clergy for Choice, Physicians for Reproductive Health, National Center for Transgender Equality, Indivisible, National LGBTQ Task Force, Organizing for Action, SEIU, MoveOn.org, Our Lives on the Line, Protect Our Care, and Ultra Violet.
Yesterday, the Senate voted to move forward with an effort to pass Trumpcare, which would repeal Obamacare and “defund” Planned Parenthood. The move came despite millions of people across the country expressing opposition and outrage at the various pieces of legislation that have been proposed — which would all leave tens of millions uninsured, charge women more for less insurance coverage, and prevent millions of people with Medicaid coverage from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers for basic, preventive care.
In fact, Planned Parenthood supporters made 13,000 calls into Capitol Hill on Tuesday alone.
Vice President Mike Pence, who authored the original legislation to “defund” Planned Parenthood as a congressman, had to cast the tie-breaking vote on the worst bill for women’s health in a generation.
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 190,000 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:
“No matter what version of Trumpcare the Senate votes on, it’s still the worst bill for women’s health and needs to be defeated. We’re rallying today at the Capitol today to make sure our Senators are listening to the American people and reject 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.”
Quote from Ann Marie Benitez, Senior Director of Government Relations for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
“NLIRH is appalled by the Senate’s decision to open debate on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Senators that voted in favor of moving the ACA repeal forward are actively targeting Latinxs, low-income people, and communities of color who depend on the ACA for essential healthcare. The ACA has expanded insurance coverage for Latinxs more than any other group, and without it existing health disparities for women of color and their families could be further exacerbated. For many in our communities, losing the ACA means losing our only chance at access to critical and affordable healthcare. NLIRH urges Congress to vote no against the ACA repeal. We demand that our Senators work to stop any and all attempts to deny their constituents access to healthcare.”
Quote from Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF)
"We must protect our health care and our ability to choose our providers, including Planned Parenthood clinics. We cannot and will not stand idle while certain senators play political games with something as essential as affordable health care. The National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum is committed to educating and mobilizing our communities to continue to stand up to protect our care."
Quote from Sara Hutchinson Radcliffe, Domestic Program Director of Catholics for Choice
“As Catholics, we believe in treating others with compassion and social justice for all—that is why we stand against cuts to Medicaid, restrictions to abortion coverage and funding, and efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Every woman deserves the freedom to make her own moral decisions about her health, no matter where she lives, how much money she has in her wallet, or what her boss or bishop believes.”
Quote from Rev. Marie Harkey-Alford, President and CEO of Religious Institute
“Stripping access to healthcare from millions of people is immoral. My Christian faith teaches me that it is unjust and sinful to deny healthcare to people based on their income and that access to affordable comprehensive healthcare is a human right and a moral imperative. That’s why, as the president of the Religious Institute, a Christian, and a pastor, I stand firmly with Planned Parenthood and oppose repealing the ACA. My Christian values, my belief in the common good, and my commitment to justice require nothing less.”
Quote from Rabbi Dennis Ross, Director of Concerned Clergy for Choice
"If your faith teaches love of God, then make sure that people can get the health care they need. If your God wants you to love people, make sure that their health care includes family planning services. God put us on earth to love and protect each other. So don’t take away anyone’s quality, confidential and compassionate care through Planned Parenthood."
Quote from Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director
“This is worse than don’t ask don’t tell, this is don’t serve, don’t serve. This is an appalling attack on our service members; it is about bigotry rather than military readiness, reason or science. It is indefensible and cannot stand. The President wants to discard thousands of trained and skilled troops who are already serving honorably and done nothing but be honest about who they are. To turn away qualified recruits simply because of who they are is a shameful way to show our country's gratitude to the people who serve our country.”
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.