Planned Parenthood reacts to possibly being defunded by American Health Care Act

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Members of Planned Parenthood say the American Health Care Act will have devastating effects on low-income families, especially those seeking reproductive health.

But not everyone is in agreement whether the bill will move America forward or backward.

Columbus Public Health works hand-in-hand with providers like Planned Parenthood, and Director Kelli Arthur Hykes says 100,000 people in Franklin County could be impacted by the changes to healthcare.

The American Health Care Act was just passed by the House of Representatives and partially defunds Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of women’s reproductive health care and a major provider for a large number of Medicaid patients.

“I’m here to tell you that the American Health Care Act is the worst piece of legislation for women in a generation,” says Iris Harvey, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio President and CEO.

Katie Franklin is the Spokesperson for Ohio Right to Life, she says they applaud the health care act.

“This bill is also reprioritizing funding, it is redirecting funding to health care centers across the country. Thousands of centers that are actually doing prenatal care,” Franklin says.

Hykes says there are not enough providers for low-income families. “We know that the number of women who need services, greatly outnumbers the number of providers we have right now, so pulling out a large provider like Planned Parenthood is concerning to us,” she says.

“We are clearly the provider of choice for women who have no other place to go,” says Harvey.

Franklin says there are plenty of other health care providers for women and the money for Planned Parenthood would be better spent growing new providers. “Planned Parenthood is upset about the act because they are not going to be feeding at the taxpayer trough anymore,” she says.

The director of a healthcare network agrees the act is partially about money and reproductive rights.

“The only reason to celebrate that piece of legislation is if you were getting the tax cuts are going to devolve to wealthy people,” says Steve Wagner, Executive Director of Universal Healthcare Action Network of Ohio.

Now it’s up to the US Senate whether to pass the act on for President Trump to sign it into law.

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