Joint press conference Saturday at Planned Parenthood tackles the GOP’s Affordable Care Act repeal
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-08) were joined Saturday by women’s health advocates at Planned Parenthood in Seattle to address the consequences for women’s health if Republicans dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and defund Planned Parenthood. They were also joined by a patient, who spoke about the importance of several provisions in the ACA that helped her with family planning and returning to work as a new mother. The lawmakers called on Republicans to drop their attack on women, men and families’ access to health care.
The main takeaway from the event: women are once again about to become a “pre-existing condition” for the simple act of being born female.
“By repealing the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress will strip health care away from thousands of people struggling to make ends meet,” said Jayapal. “If Republicans have it their way, being a woman, once again, will become a pre-existing condition. Women would lose access to preventative care like cancer screenings, birth control and Pap tests. Health care is a fundamental right, not a privilege. Instead of rolling back the progress we’ve made, we should be strengthening and expanding health care to cover all who live in our nation.”
Jayapal was asked during the presser whether or not she would attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Jan. 20. She confirmed a definitive “no” and reiterated to reporters that “inauguration is not the time” to attempt working together and that, in fact, her colleagues standing beside her in the room had attempted to work across the aisle for more than six years without any interest from the GOP. Murray and DelBene stated they would be attending the inauguration.
Watch the Facebook live video below and also here.
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act – with no plan to replace it – will create chaos. This isn’t just my view or Suzan’s view or Pramila’s view – it’s a view shared by the majority of independent experts, including state leaders – from both parties – across the country,” Murray said as she addressed the media. “As if this weren’t enough, extreme Republicans have also announced that they plan to defund Planned Parenthood as part of their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It’s shameful. That’s why I sent a very clear message to Republicans this past week: not on my watch and not without a fight.”
“House and Senate leaders are working on a dangerous plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip more than 20 million Americans of their health insurance. And if they succeed, it will have devastating consequences for our constituents, particularly women,” DelBene said. “Make no mistake – dismantling it now means being a woman will once again be treated as a pre-existing condition. It will mean fewer options, less access and higher costs for tens of millions of women. What’s worse, Speaker Paul Ryan is also calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. We should be building on the progress we’ve made, not turning back the clock. Women deserve better.”
As soon as the 115th Congress went into session, Republicans made it clear that they plan to rip apart our health care system, and at the same time defund Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest provider of women’s health care. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, nearly 30 million Americans stand to lose their coverage, including 750,000 Washingtonians. Planned Parenthood serves roughly 2.5 million patients in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and many families rely on Planned Parenthood as their primary source of health care. There are 32 Planned Parenthood centers in Washington state alone, seeing over 100,000 patients a year.
Additional photos below courtesy of The Seattle Lesbian’s Sarah Toce and Stephanie Brusig.