Growing up in Appalachia, in the poorest district in Kentucky, afforded one a real-life perspective shared by few in the Washington bubble. I may be one of the few people in Washington who has actually utilized public health services. Poor mothers like mine rely on "the Health Department" for everything from gynecological care to immunizations or "shots" for their children. These convenient and affordable clinics are an essential and undervalued part of the debate on quality healthcare for the poor.
The American Health Care Act, passed last week by the House of Representatives, repeals portions of Obamacare and redirects Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood to Federally Qualified Health Centers.
Of course, Planned Parenthood and its big abortion harpies are furious. Following the vote this past Thursday, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards lost her mind.
Planned Parenthood America said in a statement:
Just yesterday, we saw same-day attacks on access to health care and birth control. In the House, out-of-touch lawmakers passed their dangerous repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which includes 'defunding' Planned Parenthood [. . .] By a narrow vote of 217 to 213, Paul Ryan and his out-of-touch allies forced through their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and 'defund' Planned Parenthood health centers. Now this dangerous legislation will move on to the Senate — and this may be our last chance to stop it.
Simmer down, Cecile.
Their logic is flawed. To begin, just because Planned Parenthood won't continue to grow fat feeding off the public trough doesn't mean resources won't be afforded to others.
It is an unfounded and absurd accusation that poor women will somehow not have access to care without federal funds going to Planned Parenthood. This legislation simply shifts funding to other providers like the "health department" still working hard in my hometown.
In fact, Concerned Women for America recently released a survey of just some of the alternatives to Planned Parenthood. We found that Federally Qualified Health Centers overwhelming outnumber PPA clinics by about 11,600 to 650 (i.e., 18 to 1). This is a snapshot of time broken down by congressional district, but it does not count the private doctors offices that accept Medicaid patients or the estimated 2,200 pregnancy care centers who do not receive government funding.
What's more, these clinics provide care for the whole woman (not just gynecological care) without pushing a "profit no matter what" agenda. American taxpayers no longer support their hard-earned money being spent to prop up the abortion industry.
In fact, if Richards really cared for the health of poor women, she would have taken President Trump up on his offer to increase federal funding if Planned Parenthood stopped providing abortion services. Trump told the New York Times that an informal proposal was made to Planned Parenthood offering to maintain federal funding — about $500 million each year — if the organization ended abortion procedures. Sources have reported to Concerned Women for America that White House officials even suggested there could be an increase in that funding if they accepted the deal.
Let's take a moment to really absorb this. Planned Parenthood has repeatedly assured America that abortion isn't its main mission and that women will die without their work. Yet, when given the opportunity to increase federal funding for non-abortion services, they flatly refused.
Whether living in rural Appalachia or inner city America, public opinion is coalescing around the notion that abortion is not healthcare, and the Senate bill must take into account this fact. No matter how much we are lectured or threatened by the abortion mafia, as Vice President Mike Pence said in his March for Life speech in January, "Life is winning."
Penny Young Nance (@PYNance) is the president and CEO of Concerned Women for America.
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