Planned Parenthood head: ‘Being a woman is now a pre-existing condition’

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Cecile Richards spoke hours after the American Health Care Act narrowly passed in the House, describing the damage it could cause if it gets past the Senate

Planned Parenthoods president, Cecile Richards, made a damning verdict on the Republicans healthcare bill to repeal and supplant the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, telling: Being a woman is going to be now a pre-existing condition in this country.

Speaking hours after the American Health Care Act was narrowly passed in the House of Representatives, the activist who is a key figure in the campaign for American women health and reproductive rights receives an standing ovation as she arrived on stage to address a jam-packed audience at the New School in New York as part of PEN Americas World Voices Festival.

Richards said the bill, which won by a margin of simply four polls, was jammed through without proper scrutiny or debate, adding: To say its unpopular is genuinely an understatement.

Opening the talk, Richards tried to strike an optimistic tint by saying to cheers and clapping that the delay to the bill which failed to win sufficient support in March proved that the opposition is working.

However, she went on to describe the damage that the bill, which she described as a vampire resurrected, could go on to cause if it gets past the Senate. Preventing that outcome, she said, was now the key focus for campaigners energies.

She told the audience: Today, of course, for those of you “whove been” blissfully off of Twitter, the House of Representatives jammed through a bill that is actually very few each member of Congress, I imagine, had read. Surely the Congressional Budget Office hadnt even scored in terms of the potential impact both fiscal impact and impact on folks.

She added: Theres a lot of things in the bill, we can talk about them, but of course one of the things that has been foremost on the mind of some of the leaders and Speaker[ Paul] Ryan was ending access to Planned Parenthood for women on, patients on Medicaid.

That signifies millions of folks who come to us for cancer screenings and for family planning, particularly in medically underserved fields, will no longer be able to go to Schemed Parenthood for that care.

She said based on the evidence presented she has seen in her home state, Texas where more than half the abortion clinics have shut the effects of the new healthcare plan would be devastating.

The impact is immediate on women and especially women working in low income, women of coloring, she added.

Citing figures that calculate 24 million people will lose their health insurance coverage under the bill, she talked about its other possible implications.

Richards said here equity we fought for so hard under President Obama had been thrown out, gender ratings enabling insurance companies to accusation girls more would return, and it would be more difficult for women providing access to maternity coverage and family planning.

Supposedly the pro-family party simply passed a bill that will basically make it harder to not was pregnant, harder to have a healthy maternity and harder to raise a child, she added.

Although Richards said the Senate was a place where cooler brains reign, where she claimed the bill is wildly unpopular, she feared the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, would try to get it through regardless.

She advocated adversaries of the bill to tell the story of what happened, adding: The more this gets out there, the more people be informed about it, the less popular it is and the more people that, when these guys go back home, because of course theyre mainly guys, they go back home and they have to deal with a lot of women in pink pussy hats, Schemed Parenthood signs and patients telling their tales, and they dont like that.

The event, which had been scheduled long before the bills outcome was known, featured a discussion between Richards and the PEN America executive director, Suzanne Nossel, about the body politic.

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