In a press release from Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, President and CEO Crystal Strait expressed support for California’s Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s shelving of California’s single-payer SB-562 bill this past Sunday:
Right now, health care for millions of Americans is under attack. The bill the US Senate is considering is the worst policy change for women in a generation. In addition to “defunding” Planned Parenthood and slashing Medicaid, it guts maternity coverage and prescription drugs. Thirteen million women could lose coverage.
That’s why Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California supports Speaker Rendon’s focus on what’s at stake right now. As disappointed as many are, we know he made a hard decision to keep the pressure on defeating the GOP actions in Washington D.C. We pledge to continue to work with the Legislature and our partners to defeat Trumpcare. And we will work together to make sure our state’s health system provides quality, affordable access to care for all Californians.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 24, 2017
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has serious concerns about Amendment 69, and as a result is taking a position in opposition. PPRM, perhaps more than most organizations, knows that the ballot process is a risky tactic for implementing sweeping policy change. Things can unintentionally go wrong. We believe this would be the case here, and that Amendment 69 would further stigmatize and fragment abortion care in our health care system.
While we recognize there is a strong argument for increased access to health insurance for all, the unintended consequence of Amendment 69 is that under the structure of a totally state-funded health care system, the only way women could obtain an abortion is if they paid out of pocket. There has been a constitutional prohibition on state funding of abortion since 1984, and this ballot amendment would not supersede that mandate. Because of that 1984 amendment many women with public coverage today, including state and municipal employees and Medicaid beneficiaries, are already without coverage that includes abortion care. Amendment 69, if passed, would add to that number. We need to be working to remove barriers like these, not expanding them.
We applaud Senator Aguilar and the leaders of Amendment 69, and we thank them for starting this important conversation. We too believe we must respond to the rising costs of care and the barriers too many Coloradans continue to face. We have fought for, responded to, and continue to believe in the need for universal health care. However, we believe universal health care means access to ALL services Coloradans need, including safe and legal abortion.
In what may seem like a surprise to many, Bernie Sanders possibly saw this coming as he referred to Planned Parenthood as “establishment” in his presidential campaign.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California have not responded to our request for comments at this time.
Jeanette Nelson contributed to this article.