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via Twitter (@RachelPStanton)

U.S Republicans detail plan to defund Planned Parenthood

House Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed that the healthcare provider would be stripped of millions in federal funding as early as next month if their bill passes

The Republican party’s plans to take away millions in federal funding away from Planned Parenthood would be pushed out in their repeal of Obama’s healthcare system, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

“Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill,” Ryan said at a press conference when asked about the plans to strip Planned Parenthood of funding. Earlier this week, a Republican-fronted political panel published a report stating that the organisation should lose its federal funds and Medicaid reimbursements, additionally reporting that states should drop abortion services from Medicaid programs.

Defunding of the women’s healthcare service, which provides smear tests, contraceptives, abortion access and a wide range of medical care to millions of women in the U.S, would go through in a fast-tracked bill which could be passed as early as next month once Trump is inaugurated. Reconciliation means the legislation could avoid going through the Senate, so it couldn’t be majorly challenged. It would only need a small majority, rather than a ‘supermajority’, which requires 60-seats to vote in favour.

According to Planned Parenthood, 40 per cent of its funding would be lost. Approximately $400 million in Medicaid money would be taken away. It’s estimated that only three per cent of its health services are related to abortion access. The organisation provides more than 270,000 pap tests, 360,000 breast exams and treats more than 4.2 million for STIs every year. Their education program is given to 1.5 million people in just one year too.

“Defunding Planned Parenthood is dangerous to people's health, it's unpopular, and it would leave people across the country without care," said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. “They cannot afford to have basic reproductive health care attacked. Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years and we're going to be here for 100 more.”

A similar bill back in 2015, which included elements of the plan to defund the provider, was passed in Congress but was ultimately vetoed by President Obama.

“We are going to stand against this with every fiber of our beings,” said Diana DeGette, co-chairwoman of the House Pro-Choice Caucus as the Washington Post reports.

President-elect Donald Trump has shown an inconsistent stance on abortion, though recently voiced that he supported defunding Planned Parenthood in a television interview. Senator Patty Murray said in a press conference that she hoped Republican women would reject the challenge to “women’s ability to make her own health care choices”. She added, of Trump: “I would ask the president-elect to twitter very loudly tomorrow morning, that he stands behind women and that he wants the House to back down.”

People on social media have rose up to affirm their stance in support of the health care provider, many pointing to Planned Parenthood’s affordability for people pushed out of the United States’ expensive health care services, as well as their life saving treatments, family planning and preventative measures that ensure women’s health and body autonomy.

If you would like to donate to Planned Parenthood, visit here. You can also give House Speaker Paul Ryan a call to voice your support of Planned Parenthood on 608-752-4050, or tweet him here

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