Planned Parenthood Faces Potential Defunding


By Leila Stewart

The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, is a federal statute passed by the 111th Congress and Barack Obama in 2010. It extends coverage to uninsured Americans that provides them with lower healthcare costs and improved system efficiency.

According to CNN, in September 2016, 10.4 million people were currently enrolled in the ACA. It is estimated that this year, 11.4 million people will be enrolled.

Throughout his transition period, President Donald Trump has promised to repeal and replace the ACA.

The Affordable Care Act affects not just citizens, but non-profit organizations as well. Planned Parenthood is one of those non-profit organizations. Planned Parenthood provides services for 5 million people.

According to their website, Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization that provides birth control, cancer screening, testing and treatment for STDs and abortion.

This past year, the services they provided were 45 percent STI/STD testing and treatment, 31 percent contraception-related, 13 percent other women’s health services, such as pregnancy tests and prenatal care, 7 percent cancer screening and prevention, 3 percent abortion services and 1 percent include other services, such as treatment of acute and chronic diseases.

Rachel Lopez is the Public Relations Manager at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Lincoln. She has seen how Planned Parenthood has provided services for people locally.

“In 2016 between Nebraska and Iowa, more than 52,000 people were helped,” said Lopez.

Reported by Planned Parenthood in July 2016, throughout America, an estimated one in five women had visited a Planned Parenthood health center.

Fifty-four percent of their health centers are located in health professional shortage or medically underserved areas. Seventy-five percent of patients had incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.

The 2015 Congressional Budget Office reported if the Affordable Care Act is defunded, Planned Parenthood will lose $390 million, which is 87 percent of the amount of money they receive from the government.

Funding allows Planned Parenthood to serve patients with or without insurance for a discount based on income.

As far as the effects of the defunding of Planned Parenthood, Lopez is unsure of the future of Planned Parenthood.

“This remains to be seen but we will continue to fight for access to reproductive health care and to serve our communities,” Lopez said.

Although the future of Planned Parenthood is still undetermined, Lopez, among other Planned Parenthood supporters, will continue to advocate to provide services.

“We will continue to serve, and to care, no matter what. We have fought for 100 years for access to reproductive healthcare; we will be here for at least 100 more,” said Lopez.