It’s very clear Trump’s healthcare plans are bad for women. In addition to the challenges the American Health Care Act will create for folks who become pregnant or choose to seek support services after surviving a rape or sexual assault, cuts to family planning services are looming.
And based on District 6 Congressional candidate Karen Handel’s attacks on women’s health, her defunding of Planned Parenthood and her willingness to stand by and say nothing as Trump attacks our democracy, we can only imagine what lines of anti-women attacks Handel would employ, if elected.
Over 150,000 Georgians rely on publicly-funded clinics to get access to contraceptives, and more than one-third of them rely specifically on Title X publicly-funded clinics. Title X is the nation’s only family planning safety net program and is critical to making birth control accessible for low income families. Last month, Trump signed into law a measure that allows states to deny Title X funds to any clinics that also provide abortion services.
Now, the federal government already refuses to cover abortion care — leaving low-income women, women in the military and others without any coverage for abortion services — but this superfluous measure strips funding for family planning and other essential health care services from organizations that also happen to provide abortions. If this sounds like a measure that targets Planned Parenthood, that’s because it is.
In case anyone needs a reminder: access to birth control, including long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs, is critical for women’s physical health and economic security.
And right now, the Trump administration has seen fit to put contraceptive access at risk. In addition to signing this bill into law, Trump’s newest “religious freedom” executive order, anti-abortion appointments to the Department of Health and Human Services, and support for the American Health Care Act all chip away at birth control access (and further stigmatize abortion care to boot).
As respected research group Guttmacher Institute notes:
“Family planning has well-documented health benefits for mothers, newborns, families and communities. Pregnancies that occur too early or too late in a woman’s life, or that are spaced too closely, negatively affect maternal health and increase the risk of prematurity and low birth weight.
The ability to delay and space childbearing is crucial to women’s social and economic advancement. Women’s ability to obtain and effectively use contraceptives has a positive impact on their education and workforce participation, as well as on subsequent outcomes related to income, family stability, mental health and happiness, and children’s well-being.”
Someone remind me why that’s a bad thing?
Unfortunately, this administration will continue to push policies that are dangerous for women’s health and wellness.