As if women's reproductive rights weren't already in danger, the GOP has announced that it plans to try and cut all federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
According to The Washington Post, House Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed during a news conference on Thursday that Republicans plan to strip Planned Parenthood of millions of dollars of federal funding. Ryan said that a defunding measure would appear in a bill that is expected to pass through Congress as early as next month, as part of the Republican move to repeal Obamacare.
As WaPo reports, Planned Parenthood could lose up to 40% of its funding if the bill becomes a law.
Ryan also said that “Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill,” meaning that it would undergo a special congressional procedure where senators wouldn't be able to filibuster the bill, and it won't need the typical 60-vote majority in order to be passed.
In 2015, Republicans introduced a reconciliation bill that repealed parts of Obamacare and defunded Planned Parenthood. The bill was passed through both houses of Congress and was vetoed by President Obama. This time around, Republicans are expecting President-elect Donald Trump to sign the bill into law.
Last month, Texas state legislature made a similar move by officially defunding Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program.
According to NPR, Planned Parenthood uses the majority of its federal funding to provide services such as screening for and treating sexually transmitted infections, as well as providing contraception.
"Defunding Planned Parenthood is dangerous to people’s health, it's unpopular, and it would leave people across the country without care," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement to Refinery29. "Two and a half million women, men, and young people come through our doors every year for lifesaving care like cancer screenings, birth control, and STI and STD tests, and they cannot afford to have basic reproductive health care attacked. Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years, and we’re going to be here for 100 more. Women and men in this country won’t let politicians like Paul Ryan and Mike Pence take us back decades."
On Thursday afternoon, Richards also spoke out against the measure on Twitter, and urged those concerned to take action.
The measure, of course, comes after President-elect Trump's election win in November caused many to express concern over reproductive rights and abortion access. While this news doesn't look good for the future of reproductive rights, the fight isn't over — here are some things you can do right now to help preserve those rights.