The latest version of the GOP-controlled Senate’s healthcare bill is out, and spoiler alert: it’s st
Despite Senator McConnell’s efforts to make his ill-conceived plan more palatable, the latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) remains devastating for low-income people, those with pre-existing conditions, and particularly women.
Unsurprisingly, and like its predecessor the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), the BRCA defunds Planned Parenthood. This has long been a goal for Republicans, despite the fact that doing so would eliminate the primary source of care for millions of women (and men) across the country. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15% of women in rural areas alone would completely lose access to family planning care. Lack of access to contraception means an increase in unplanned pregnancy, which the BRCA addresses by prohibiting any plans that offer coverage for abortion services to participate in the exchange.
In case anyone was wondering if this would really affect abortion rates and women’s health, Texas has done the favor of creating a case study for us. In 2011, the Texas GOP shut down 80% of the state’s women’s health clinics. According to a study done by Texas A&M University, the abortion rate among teenagers subsequently rose 3%, likely because teenagers don’t generally have the resources to travel long distances to seek care.
The concept of banning abortion entirely has, time and time again, proven to be ineffective and deadly, their the effects being compounded for low-income women and women of color. The only thing this plan guarantees is that more and more women will turn to illegal and dangerous methods to end their pregnancies, and more and more women will die as a result.
Senator McConnell needs to have the support of 50 Senators in order for this bill to move forward, meaning if just three GOP Senators refuse to support it, the bill will be dead and Republicans will be forced to negotiate with their Democratic colleagues in an effort to design a system that is beneficial to more than just those in the top income brackets.
If you have not done so already, please Senators McCain and Flake and ask that they withhold their support from this harmful and counterproductive bill. Both men are currently the 2nd and 3rd most disliked Senators in the country, respectively, but Flake is up for re-election in 2018 and will likely be more susceptible to public pressure. Each call takes only a minute but could potentially help save the lives of thousands of American women.
Here are their office numbers:
Senator Flake: 202-224-4521
Senator McCain: 202-224-2235