House Speaker Paul Ryan is celebrating International Women’s Day by bragging about how much money his widely-panned healthcare bill is about to suck out of Planned Parenthood’s budget.
“This is what we’ve been dreaming about doing,” Ryan told reporters today with noticeable excitement in his voice. The House Speaker listed all of the things “conservatives should be excited about,” including the fact that “It ends funding to Planned Parenthood and sends money to community centers.”
About one in five women in America have used Planned Parenthood’s health services at some point in their lives. The organization has become a popular punching bag for Republicans hoping to appease their anti-abortion constituents, despite the fact that only 3% of its resources go to abortion services, none of which are federally funded.
In fact, 80% of Planned Parenthood patients receive services designed to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Planned Parenthood estimates that it successfully prevents 579,000 unwanted pregnancies every year.
Ryan’s healthcare bill will strip millions in federal Medicaid reimbursements from Planned Parenthood, a move which will likely drastically affect poor women’s access to reproductive coverage. Many of these funds will be transferred to community centers that don’t specialize in reproductive health services and are already overloaded with too many patients.
For Ryan to make this boast on International Women’s Day is particularly ironic, given that the day celebrates women’s ability to contribute in the workplace, which studies have shown is directly linked to access to women’s health services like the ones provided by Planned Parenthood.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. His less-political Youtube channel can be found here. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW