Today, the House of Representatives passed the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act (H.R. 3495). This bill would allow states to withhold Medicaid reimbursements to doctors and other healthcare providers that legally perform abortions. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) made the following remarks in opposition to H.R. 3495 on the floor of the House:
“Another day, another attack by Republicans on women’s health care in the House of Representatives. But this one is different. It goes beyond the typical attacks on women and endangers their health and the health of entire communities. By holding Medicaid hostage, this bill seeks to intimidate doctors and hospitals into not providing a safe and constitutionally protected service.
“I’m appalled at how far Republicans are willing to go. The language in the bill is so vague that it would allow states to exclude entire providers from the Medicaid program. Minority and low-income women would be disproportionately impacted and would stand to lose access to critical health services like birth control and family planning.
“It’s time to stop the attacks. Women must be free to make their own healthcare choices in consultation with their doctors – and without threats from Republican politicians in Washington. And we must have as one of those choices Planned Parenthood. For many, it’s the only place they can turn to for even the most basic care.
“It’s time to stop using healthcare as a weapon to bully women.”