Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health services to millions of Americans. Because those services include abortions, they are often the first to be attacked by conservative politicians. Let’s pump up those civic muscles today by getting informed and defending the work Planned Parenthood does in our communities.
Next time Planned Parenthood comes up, need to know what to say? Click below to learn how to counter common falsehoods about Planned Parenthood. As always, post something you learn on social media and tag us @mycivicworkout so we can see how hard you’re working.
The Republican “health care” bill (or AHCA) would forbid Medicaid from paying for any service from an organization that provides abortions. This means that it would become illegal for low-income patients on Medicaid to use their insurance to get pap smears, HIV tests, pelvic exams, or hormone therapy at Planned Parenthood—putting the cost of basic preventative care out of reach. This is what people mean when they talk about “defunding Planned Parenthood.”
We’re joining our voices together to keep this from happening. First, read the Bustle link below for a two-minute overview of the effects the AHCA will have if it becomes law. Then, call your senators and let them know you won’t stand for cutting Medicaid recipients off from Planned Parenthood care.
Check out this report from the Guttmacher Institute on the number of abortion restrictions in the US that aren’t borne out by research. Then, depending on where you live, take one of these two steps:
Do you live in a state with more than one unscientific restriction on abortion? Contact your state-level representatives and ask them if they are willing to introduce legislation overturning it. (Need a reminder of who your state-level representatives are? Here you go!)
Do you live in a state with minimal or no unscientific restrictions on abortion? Awesome! Then you’re going to raise your voice today for all the people who have trouble getting the reproductive health services they need. Click here to send an email to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and ask that he use his authority to keep birth control methods available without a copay.
Today’s Marathon is more like a 10K, but here’s more in case you want to keep going. If you receive care at Planned Parenthood, look for opportunities—a local town hall meeting, for instance—to speak out about how Planned Parenthood has kept you healthy. If you get care elsewhere, let those around you know you will fight for their ability to access reproductive health services at Planned Parenthood. Make a post on social media—or send an email or text—to let your friends know that if they need someone to speak up for them or walk to an appointment with them, you have their backs.
Opposition to reproductive rights isn’t just domestic policy, it’s foreign policy. Read Molly Redden’s report in the Guardian about the reinstatement of what’s known as the “global gag rule”:
US law already bans the use of taxpayer dollars to support abortion services abroad. Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan, however, has gone further, and blocked foreign aid to non-governmental organizations that discuss abortion as part of family planning or advocate for abortion rights, even using non-US funds.
Barack Obama lifted that policy in 2009. But just days into his presidency, Donald Trump signed an executive order reimposing the ban, known as the Mexico City policy.
And Trump expanded the policy even further. He directed his incoming secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, to identify a larger range of international aid programs that could fall under the ban.