Today, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced that when Republicans repeal Obamacare later this month, they’ll include a provision to defund Planned Parenthood.
The organization, which administers millions of cancer and STI and STD tests to women and some men, receives $500 million in federal government funds. The amount accounts for approximately 40 percent of its $1.3 billion in revenue, which NPR writes “suggests that the organization would be in some heavy financial trouble without that public funding.”
It cannot be written or tweeted or said too many times: abortions account for around three percent of the services that Planned Parenthood provides. And moreover, federal money can’t be used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother. Which means that despite the fact that 2.5 million men and women visit Planned Parenthood to get an annual checkup, to screen for disease, to receive contraception, Republicans are still willing to put all that at risk because of how #onbrand it is for them to cut funds to the organization.
If you’ve been paying attention over the past few years, you know this isn’t the first time they’ve tried to do it. They’ve threatened to strip Planned Parenthood of government funds dozens of times. And in 2015, Republicans successfully pushed a reconciliation bill—a bill that doesn’t need to reach the usual 60-vote threshold to pass and can’t be filibustered— in both houses. President Obama vetoed it, saving both his own healthcare law and Planned Parenthood. When he takes office next month, Trump is expected to approve it.
“Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill,” Ryan said during a press conference this afternoon. He didn’t say more. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards had more to add, responding via a press release to the news:
“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,” she said, “and they cannot afford to have basic reproductive health care attacked.”