- House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Thursday part of the plan to repeal the ACA includes stripping Planned Parenthood Federation of America of funding, The Washington Post reported.
- Congress could pass the bill that would defund the women's health organization, known as the nation's largest abortion provider, as early as next month, the report says.
- Planned Parenthood launched a petition to ask Congress for its support. It had gathered a total of 63,000 signatures as of Thursday.
In response to Ryan's announcement, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President and CEO Vicki Cowart said in a statement, “The announcement today could not be more dangerous for future of women's health care. Defunding Planned Parenthood is bad for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Wyoming, and would result in a self-inflicted public health crisis."
More than 100,000 people relied on the organization in 2016 to receive healthcare services, according to Cowart.
A special investigative committee, comprised by Democrats and Republicans and formed in 2015, recommended this week that Planned Parenthood is stripped from access to Medicaid reimbursements and federal funds for services around family-planning, and that states be allowed to block Medicaid funds from abortion providers.
On the other hand, the organization has not just provided abortions, but also preventative care like birth control with no co-pay and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a report in December 2016 that emphasized the importance of removing barriers to access to preventative services to improve women's health and address ongoing disparities. Health insurance plans sometimes do not fully cover these services.