By Jill June
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have endorsed an extreme agenda that calls for ending federal funding for Planned Parenthood, repealing ObamaCare and limiting access to birth control, and both have backed proposals that ban abortion. What is surprising and quite frankly disturbing is that the Republican candidates willfully ignore the disastrous consequences of their actions and place their far right ideology ahead of every woman’s health.
Consider what would happen if they ended federal funding for Planned Parenthood. What many people don’t realize is that one in five women in the United States visits a Planned Parenthood clinic in her lifetime. Planned Parenthood is the one of the largest providers of women’s health services in the country. It provides the exact same services as many medical offices and hospitals and in many cases does so at a fraction of the cost. More than 90 percent of our services are preventive in nature. We provide contraception, Pap tests, STD screenings, breast exams, and prenatal care and often are the only available and affordable option. In fact, roughly 50 percent of our health centers are located in rural areas and medically underserved communities in Iowa.
When Romney and Ryan talk about eliminating Planned Parenthood, they are really talking about eliminating lifesaving care for more than 10,000 women in Iowa.
For the last four years, we’ve benefited from having a president who cares about women and promotes a legislative agenda that strengthens and protects our right to control and make informed decisions about our health. President Obama vowed to protect Planned Parenthood and Title X family planning funding and he passed comprehensive health care reform, also known as ObamaCare. He understood that quality, affordable health insurance on is a key part of middle-class security.
If Romney and Ryan overturned ObamaCare, they would put insurance companies back in charge of women’s health, bringing us back to a time when women lost coverage or went bankrupt because they got sick or hit their lifetime limit, and were charged out of pocket for basic, recommended services such as cancer screenings, contraception, breastfeeding support, and well-woman visits. And they’d let insurance companies deny coverage or charge exorbitant rates because of a pre-existing condition, and even charge women more than men for the same coverage.
Vote to protect your health and rights before Romney and Ryan take them away.
l Jill June is CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, based in Des Moines. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org