Press Releases

Thursday, May 4, 2017

NLIRH: From White House to U.S. Capitol, GOP-led Government Attacks Women’s Health Care and Reproductive Rights

Press Release
Washington
Wilmarie Ríos Jaime Phone: (202) 754-8811 Email: wilmarie@latinainstitute.org

WASHINGTON, DC — Pressured by President Trump to vote on a health care bill, no matter how bad for consumers, the House passed a measure Thursday that would be a disaster for women and older patients by raising premiums and causing about 24 million people to lose coverage. As many as 15 million people with pre-existing conditions would be left behind.

Determined to undo the “Affordable Care Act” (ACA) enacted under President Obama’s administration, the GOP-led House passed the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA). The bill defunds Planned Parenthood, reverses Medicaid expansion under ACA, and rolls back the Essential Health Benefits that are in the ACA, affecting about 133 million people.

At the same time, the president signed an executive order, under the guise of “religious freedom,” that directs the department of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and DOL to allow the use of religious or moral objections to deny coverage for women's preventive services.

“These actions are merciless, harmful slaps in the faces to women, particularly women of color,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH). “Religious freedom should never be used as a political tool to impede our vision for reproductive justice in any way.”

“House leaders also should decide whether they want to represent their constituents or blindly follow the president who is intent on reducing access to affordable health care. Instead of showing leadership and improving health care, they conspired with the White House to pass a bill that is worse for everyone except high-income earners and health insurers, who would get $600 billion in tax breaks,” González-Rojas added.

Women of color would be particularly harmed by the proposed benefits cuts in the health care bill, as outlined in a recent fact sheet by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, and the National Partnership for Women & Families.

Between 2012 and 2014, the uninsured rate among Latinas fell by nine percent. Currently, 17 million Latinos/as have coverage for preventive services without cost sharing. Cervical cancer is highly preventable, but Latinas have the highest rates of cervical cancer, and coverage for preventive services without cost sharing removes barriers to care.

“We call on the Senate to stop the political games and maintain the access to affordable health care that is serving our community. Neither the president nor Congress should gamble with the health of the 17 million Latinas and families who depend on ACA’s guaranteed access to key health services such as cervical cancer screenings and maternity care. Nor should they reduce the hard-earned gains in access to reproductive health care that we will fight every day to defend,” González-Rojas said.

For more information on NLIRH’s fight for health, dignity and justice, visit us at latinainstitute.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @NLIRH.

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 28 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.