This week, Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) presented a new bill in the latest attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act. While the Cassidy-Graham bill has been described as more lenient, it is almost identical to the last repeal bill with the exception that it takes further steps to restrict women’s healthcare. For example, while it has the same limits on abortion as previous bills, it adds the ability for the federal government to regulate individual states’ ability to provide access to abortions.
The Cassidy-Graham bill would not only leave millions uninsured, it would further reduce access to reproductive health care, maternity care, and Planned Parenthood nationwide. When healthcare is restricted, women of color suffer the most. In early 2017, one study found that black women die from cervical cancer at twice the rate of white women in the U.S. Cancer screenings are one of the many services provided by Planned Parenthood whose funding would be cut by the Cassidy-Graham bill.
We have seen this story time and time again, where a group of privileged men decide what women can and can’t do with our own bodies and lives. This legislation furthers that narrative, seeking to remove women’s agency of our own bodies, lives, and ultimately control over our own destiny.
That’s why this week, we’re asking you to call your representative and ask them how they’re continuing to protect the Affordable Care Act. This message is urgent as the Senate is facing a government funding deadline of September 30 and looking to pass this before then.
Remember this legislation is designed by a small homogenous group who do not represent our whole country nor our values. Together, we must protect every person’s right to affordable health care regardless of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, or circumstance. This country stands for equality for all and that should include equal access to healthcare!
Jennifer Siebel Newsom & The Representation Project Team