changes made by the ACA, this coverage is expected to expand further, but under the current administration these changes cannot be guaranteed. In fact, the political rhetoric against Planned Parenthood has become increasingly common in the past few years. Over the past few decades, and especially in the past ten years, there have been serious efforts to “defund” Planned Parenthood, meaning there have been attempts to exclude the organization from Title X and Medicaid reimbursement policies. In 2007, now Vice President Mike Pence fell prey to “fake, manipulative videos and other attacks of Planned Parenthood” and introduced the first federal bill regarding Planned
6 Parenthood’s defunding into Congress (“Recent History”). In 2011, a government shutdown over a budget crisis was narrowly avoided as Republicans reluctantly agreed to drop a demand that funding be removed from Planned Parenthood clinics (Kane et al.). In 2016, a bill titled “The Reconciliation Act” passed through both the House and the Senate which would effectively stop funding for 17.6 million men and women that visited Planned Parenthood clinics, only to be vetoed by President Obama (“Recent History”). In contrast to Obama’s support of women’s health, the presidential campaign of Donald Trump put Planned Parenthood and the ACA under fire, including “the assertion that women who undergo abortion should be punished” and the numerous attempts by Republican legislators under this administration to repeal the ACA (L. Rosenbaum, 2). Trump’s opposition to abortion fuels the resistance of groups that object to Planned Parenthood’s government funding due to religious and philosophical reasons, despite the fact that, as stated above, the organization provides essential services for women that extend far beyond controversial abortion services. Additionally, “‘Medicaid only can be used to pay for abortions in very limited circumstances, such as pregnancies resulting from rape or to save a woman’s life’” (White et al., 2). Regardless, attacks against the organization rage on. Even the provision of contraception is sometimes a topic for debate. Adjustments to the Affordable Care Act in recent years have “rolled back the law’s mandated insurance coverage of contraceptive services without patient copayments,” meaning contraceptives such as birth control or IUDs that were previously covered with no cost are now subject to copayments that could reduce access for many (L. Rosenbaum, 2). This is in spite of the fact that the “desire of abortion opponents to limit access to contraception is puzzling, given that the availability of contraception has been linked to reduced abortion rates” (L. Rosenbaum, 2). Rolling back contraceptive coverage through the ACA makes services that Planned
7 Parenthood provides even more vital — underinsured women need an alternative access point for birth control options, or the rate of unintended pregnancies will increase, and with it, the number of women seeking abortions.
- Spring '08
- Roe v. Wade, unsafe abortion