This post is made possible with support from the Mission List. All opinions are my own. I am grateful to have this platform to share with you my thoughts on what would life be like without Planned Parenthood? When I was in my early 20’s, I was working as a waitress and attending college. I had a steady boyfriend who I hoped I would marry one day. Because I was working part-time, my company did not provide insurance. I barely had the money to pay my basic expenses, let alone pay for health insurance. When it came to taking care of my health, I relied on Planned Parenthood and the local health departments.
When I visited Planned Parenthood, I had access to many services. They provide sexual and reproductive health care to women, men, and adolescents worldwide. In a single year, they offer help to nearly 5 million people. I had access to tests and treatment for STD’s and birth control. I was able to get my yearly GYN exam, including my pap smear and breast exam. This was crucial for me as cervical and breast cancer ran in my family. Learn more about the services Planned Parenthood offers —–> HERE <——
With the perilous position of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the possibility of “defunding” of Planned Parenthood, it gave me pause. I wondered what would life be like without Planned Parenthood? How different would my life be like if I hadn’t had access to this low cost, and often free, healthcare? I could have contracted an STD and not be treated for it. I could have been pregnant or even had undetected cancer. For detailed information on the four groups who will be most impacted with the loss of Planned Parenthood , please visit —-> HERE <—-
My life could have gone from having an inconvenience to a potential death sentence. If you have an untreated STD, you pass that on to your partner. If you are not in a monogamous relationship, you and your partner can pass it on, and so on. If I were to get pregnant, I would have had to quit my job when I couldn’t wait tables anymore.
I may have had to quit school. I wanted kids, but not then. And God forbid, what if I were to have had a lump in my breast that no one knew about? Early detection is so crucial. Any way you look at it, my life would have been changed forever. Just like the women in this powerful video from Joss Whedon.
I told you it was powerful! What scares the crap out of me is what would life be like without Planned Parenthood for my children? I have a 30 year old daughter who is currently enrolled in Obamacare. I also have an 18 year old daughter. She and I are currently on state Medicaid. What happens to us if Obamacare is repealed and Planned Parenthood loses their funding? I get a bit sick to my stomach just thinking about it. Here is an overview of what could happen:
- Low-income patients won’t receive healthcare from Planned Parenthood: Every year, 2.5 million women, men, and young people rely on Planned Parenthood for essential health care services, like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings. Many, especially those in rural areas, will have nowhere else to turn for these services. Contrary to what you may have heard, local health care centers cannot absorb all of those who lose the benefits of Planned Parenthood.
- Those with a pre-existing condition lose protection: The community rating provision prohibits people from being charged more based on health status, gender, health status, occupation, and age. If community rating provision are lost, insurance companies can charge sky-high prices for coverage. This directly discriminates against women. Without the provision, insurers can claim having given birth, having had a C-section, or having been a survivor of domestic violence is a so-called pre-existing condition. A woman with breast cancer could face almost $30K in additional charges for her health coverage. My daughter’s and I could never afford this.
- No healthcare coverage for many services: Currently, 13 million women have health plans to cover services like maternity and newborn care, mental health services, and prescription drugs. This is because we have the Essential Health Benefits provision. What if my daughter gets pregnant? What happens to her baby? Where do they get affordable care if we lose these provisions? Also, new mothers could be forced to return to work within 60 days of giving birth. What about mother’s who had health related issues at thebirth of their child and they aren’t well enough to go back to work? What do they do?
- State Medicaid programs will be gutted: Reduced federal funds for state Medicaid programs will disproportionately harm women — women of color, in particular. For example, to save money, states may choose to limit coverage of prenatal visits and family planning services, or states may cut people from their programs.
- A Nationwide ban on abortion coverage: I know this is a sticky wicket of a subject. I get that some people don’t support this coverage. If this is you, please feel free to skip this section. I had a friend who was raped at a party and got pregnant. She was 16. She was not ready to have a baby. She was able to safely have an abortion. What if that was my daughter? Or yours? Regardless of where you stand on the issue, don’t women have the damn right to chose what happens to their bodies?
So, the question is, what can you do? You can protest the bill that is repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood. There are several ways to do this. You can click-to-call your senator, click-to-tweet your senator, tag Your Senators on Facebook or Tweet Your Representative What You Think of Their Vote.
Do you have a personal connection to this story? How do you plan to ask the Senate to vote against the AHCA and the “defunding” of Planned Parenthood?
I would love to hear in the comments below!