Cecile Richards Urges Trump To Visit A Planned Parenthood Clinic
President Trump dropped by Iowa for a rally on Wednesday evening, and Planned Parenthood's president was hoping he would decide to add one unexpected stop to his itinerary. Cecile Richards invited Trump to visit Planned Parenthood clinics in the state so that he could witness firsthand the effects that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) could have on women's reproductive health.
"Your health care repeal bill will cause millions of women to lose their insurance, could allow insurers to drop maternity coverage, and block people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood," Richards wrote in a letter to the president that she has since shared on Twitter.
The AHCA, which GOP senators are currently drafting behind closed doors, will cost an estimated 23 million Americans their health insurance over the next decade, according to an independent report by the Congressional Budget Office.
The proposed health care bill, which could be up for a vote before the Senate's July 4 recess, has been heavily criticized for potentially taking away subsidies for things like birth control, STD and HIV testing following sexual assault, and maternity care — all issues that millions of low-income women turn to Planned Parenthood clinics for.
The president has promised to defund the women's health organization repeatedly since he took office. Anti-abortion conservatives have supported this proposal, even though, according to Planned Parenthood, abortions make up just 3 percent of the organization's annual services.
Although Trump has not yet signed a federal law to take away Planned Parenthood funding, the effects of his rhetoric are already being seen locally — and dramatically in Iowa. Four Planned Parenthood clinics across the state will reportedly be shut down this summer as a result of Republican Governor Terry Branstad's appropriations bill that essentially defunds abortion providers.
You can read Richards' full letter to the President below.
Dear President Trump,
Since the first days of your administration, women's health care has been under assault — endangering the lives of low-income women around the globe, undermining a woman's ability to decide if and when to have a child, and making it harder for people to have and raise a family.
Your health care repeal bill will cause millions of women to lose their insurance, could allow insurers to drop maternity coverage, and block people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood.
On the campaign trail, you said that Planned Parenthood "has done very good work for many, many — for millions of women."
On this, we agree — 2.4 million annually, in fact.
While you are in Iowa, I'm inviting you to see that work firsthand at a Planned Parenthood health center. I hope you will be interested in learning more about the lifesaving care provided there, the people who depend on that care, and the devastating impact of "defunding" Planned Parenthood.
Governor Reynolds' administration recently fast-tracked implementation of a budget passed by the Republican-led Iowa legislature that "defunds" Planned Parenthood against the wishes of 77 percent of Iowans. Now four health centers are closing and 14,600 women will no longer be able to see their trusted health care provider for cancer screenings, STD testing, and birth control. For many, they will have nowhere else to go for this basic care.
What's happening in Iowa is going to happen all over the U.S. if your health care repeal bill is signed into law.
You have the power to stop that.
Trump has yet to take Richards up on the offer.