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Planned Parenthood Patient: Why would you advocate for a bill that would block women like me ...for those who live in the many parts of this country that are not served by community health centers?”

WASHINGTON DC - Tonight, during CNN’s health care town hall, a Planned Parenthood patient from Speaker Paul Ryan’s district shared why blocking access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers would be devastating for her and the people in her community.

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would prohibit anyone on Medicaid -- more than half of Planned Parenthood’s 2.4 million of patients -- from coming to Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, or regular checkups. Many of these women often have no other health care provider to turn to.

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

Tonight’s debate made it clear: the Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would cost Americans more, and offer them less health care, and make women pay the biggest price of all. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would block millions of women from getting birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, put maternity care for 13 million women at risk, allow insurance companies to no longer cover birth control, and increase the cost of health insurance for millions. Millions of women all across America -- in rural areas and in urban areas -- depend on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential, quality health care. It’s time for Senate Republican leadership to stop proposing attacks on women’s health and rights.

Lori Hawkins’, from Wisconsin, full question is below:

“Senator Cassidy, when I was in my mid 20s Planned Parenthood discovered that I had large cysts and benign tumors in and on my ovaries. I'm grateful for Planned Parenthood because without their care it's quite probable that my husband and I would not have been able to become parents. Why would you advocate for a bill that would block women like me from the essential care that helped me to become a mother, provides affordable cancer screenings for thousands and thousands of people and especially for those who live in the many parts of this country that are not served by community health centers?"

The American people overwhelmingly don’t want to see the Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill passed into law, and it’s opposed by major medical associations and major health insurance groups. In fact, the American Medical Association said they cannot support the bill because it violates the medical oath to “first do no harm.” Congress should listen to medical experts and the American people, and focus on bipartisan fixes to expand access to care, not take health care access away.

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would allow insurance companies to no longer cover birth control at all, would leave 32 million people without health insurance, could leave 13 million women without maternity care, would allow insurers to charge women about $17,320 more for giving birth and $28,660 more for having breast cancer, and would prevent millions of Medicaid patients from getting basic health care at Planned Parenthood.


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.