Planned Parenthood inches ever closer to being defunded as part of the GOP’s gleeful plan to dismantle Medicare, Medicaid, and gut the Affordable Care Act. As soon as President-elect Trump takes office, 40% of Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer-funded budget could vanish, leaving hundreds of thousands of women without health care (or access to a safe, legal abortion). Women aren’t the only ones at risk. There are health concerns that impact men only – Planned Parenthood provides services for them as well.
Men are also at risk when it comes to the loss of Planned Parenthood funding. The lives of women and men in New Mexico and their health providers hang in the balance with this incoming administration and the radical Right hell-bent on reversing Roe V. Wade. In New Mexico, our citizens will pay a high cost in more ways than one with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
What’s the plan, Stan? (Hint: There isn’t one.)
In 2015, when asked about the Affordable Care Act, President-elect Donald Trump said his Administration would, “Repeal and replace with something terrific.” Ten days out from being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, Trump still has zero plans for replacing the ACA and neither does the GOP. This week, in his first press conference in six months, Trump said, “You’re going to be very very proud of what we put forth having to do with health care.” Gee, that sounds terrific, do go on.
When pressed by reporters to elaborate on his vague response, the President-elect rambled the following: “‘17 is going to be a bad year. It’s going to be catastrophic.” He went on to say, “So the easiest thing is to let it [ACA] implode in 2017 . . . It will be repeal and replace. It will be, essentially simultaneously.
President-elect Trump goes on . . .
“It will be various segments, you understand but will most likely be on the same day or the same week — but probably the same day — could be a same hour. So we’re going to do repeal and replace — very complicated stuff.” Complicated “stuff,” indeed. If this shell game is confusing to you, you’re not alone. Read NPR’s annotated account of the press conference to get a full picture of how all over the place the press conference really was.
What isn’t all that complicated is what could happen to women if Planned Parenthood loses its funding. The loss of reproductive health and access to safe and legal abortions would be life-threatening to women. According to Raw Story, late Wednesday the Republicans took a drastic step forward towards the repeal of the ACA, “going full speed ahead with gutting the health care legislation without having anything close to an alternative that would keep them covered.”
As far as men’s health is concerned, the loss of services through Planned Parenthood would be devastating. In New Mexico, Planned Parenthood is the medical facility that’s not an urgent care location where a man can schedule an appointment for a test within a week (this varies based on symptoms).
While services vary according to the location, Defunding Planned Parenthood means reduced access to:
- Men’s Wellness Check-ups
- STD Testing and Treatment
- Testicular Cancer Screenings
- Male Fertility Screenings
- Birth control for men (condoms, vasectomy)
The dismantling of the Affordable Care Act and the subsequent gutting of Planned Parenthood isn’t just a “woman’s issue.” The loss would impact just about every woman, man, and child in America. It’s time for more men to stand with women and fight for Planned Parenthood.
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