New Analysis Shows Women Would be Hardest Hit Under GOP Healthcare Plan
For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2017
COLUMBUS – Women would suffer the most under the GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan, according to a new analysis by the Women’s Public Policy Network (WPPN) of Ohio.
Dr. Anita Somani, an obstetrician-gynecologist and the president of the Columbus Medical Association, agreed with the analysis and said many of the increased health risks would come from the plan’s call to defund Planned Parenthood.
“By defunding Planned Parenthood, the proposal would limit care and contraception – especially in underserved areas,’’ she said. “This will cause an increase in HIV rates and unintended pregnancies. This already happened in Indiana and Texas.’’
Indiana’s GOP-led state legislature was among the first to declare war against Planned Parenthood in 2011 when it passed a bill to cut off money to the popular family planning provider because some of its clinics offer abortion services. A federal judge later blocked the law from taking effect but the state’s continued cuts to Planned Parenthood left many rural regions without an HIV testing center, prompting an exploding HIV outbreak. Texas saw a similar public health crisis.
Under the Obamacare replacement, called the American Health Care Act, low-income women, women of color and women living in rural areas would be hardest hit because they tend to rely more heavily on Planned Parenthood for their reproductive care, according to WPPN.
Other anti-woman provisions cited by the WPPN analysis:
“As anti-choice members of Congress and the Trump administration are stepping up their assault on abortion rights, they are simultaneously crafting policies to block access to family planning services,’’ noted NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland. “Local health departments and federally qualified health centers have said they are not equipped to provide care to the people who will lose their insurance coverage if the ACA is repealed and the contraceptive mandate is reversed. Women of color, young women, and low-income people will be most seriously harmed by this dangerous political agenda.”
Experts also insisted that the proposed changes would undercut Ohio efforts to lower the state’s shamefully high infant mortality rate.
State Sen. Charleta Tavares, helped win passage of Senate Bill 332 – last year’s landmark infant mortality reduction law.
“The passage of S. B. 332 provided important education on safe-spacing and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) to ensure women are safely getting pregnant when they and their bodies are ready,” Tavares said. “The changes proposed in the AHCA would drastically undercut our efforts to reduce infant deaths and post-partum depression.”
Although some causes of infant death are unknown, access to prenatal care and proper spacing between pregnancies are proven ways to improve maternal health and lower infant mortality. While calling for defunding Planned Parenthood and proposing drastic cuts to Medicaid, which would force the state to make benefit cuts or reductions in eligibility, Trumpcare would reduce access to the very programs that are essential to combat infant mortality.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, 7.2 of every 1,000 babies born died before their first birthdays. The numbers are even more chilling for black infants, who died at a rate of 15.1 per thousand live births — nearly three times the rate of white babies.
A copy of the full report can be found online, at womenspublicpolicynetwork.org
The Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network (WPPN) is a coalition un-like any other group in the state. Formed in 2015 and convened by Innovation Ohio Education Fund, the WPPN pulls together 25 key advocacy organizations focused on promoting policies that create economic security for women and strengthen Ohio families.
Member organizations of the Women’s Public Policy Network include:
ACLU of Ohio
American Association of University Women of Ohio (AAUW Ohio)
Catholics for Choice
Innovation Ohio Education Fund
Jobs with Justice, Cleveland Chapter
Main Street Alliance of Ohio
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Central Ohio Chapter
National Council of Jewish Women, Cleveland Chapter
Nyla’s Angels Fund
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Ohio Domestic Violence Network
Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Ohio Urban Resources Systems (O.U.R.S.)
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio
Policy Matters Ohio
The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 75
Working America Education Fund, Ohio Chapter