Cecile Richards - The High Cost of Defunding Planned Parenthood

January 12, 2017 - Cecile Richards 01/12/2017 Views: 7,402

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards talks about facing GOP opposition to her organization and explains the consequences of cutting off federal funds for health care. (5:05)

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Please welcome Cecile Richards.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

-Welcome to the show.-Good to be here.

Uh, you have a lot of fansin the audience.

-A lot of, uh...-(cheering, applause)

-Thanks.-Uh, and I feel like...

I feel like you need fansin the...

-in these...-We'll take everyone we can get.

Yeah, in-in these tar...uh, dark times.

Let's get straight into it.I mean,

it feels like you cannot turnon the news these days,

-uh, especially afterthe Trump, uh, victory -Mm-hmm.

without seeing another storyabout how Paul Ryan

and the Republicans are planningto defund Planned Parenthood.

In fact,I hear that phrase so much,

it soundslike "Defund Planned Parenthood"

is the new nameof the organization.

-Not a bit. -Like, "Welcometo Defund Planned Parenthood."

-Yeah. No. -That's-that'swhat... Are you tired?

No, no, no, not a bit.In fact, I'm energized.

I... It has beenan outpouring of support

for Planned Parenthoodever since Paul Ryan said that.

In fact, I thinkyou can't even get a phone call

into Speaker Ryan's officeanymore, uh,

because of so many folkscalling, concerned.

Um, and we saw, actually,after the election,

at Planned Parenthood,a flood of women calling.

We had a 900% increase in women,

in the first couple of days,trying to get appointments

-to get an IUD,because they were worried -Wow.

about losing their accessto health care.

Planned Parenthood providesso many more services

than just abortions.

Is this somethingthat doesn't get through,

or is there a wayto create a bit of separation,

or is it a conversation

that cannot reallybe negotiated?

Well, we're really proudat Planned Parenthood

to provide women all of theirreproductive healthcare,

and we always will.

I think thatwhat's really important

to understand is,under the last...

-During the last eight years,with President Obama... -Yeah.

...who was a huge supporterof women's health, uh,

and health care access,and we actually got

birth control coveredfor 55 million women

in this country at no co-pay,including probably

-some folks here in thisaudience. Um... -(cheering)

I actually... you knowit's interesting,

we're at a 30-year low forunintended pregnancy in America,

we're at a historic low forteenage pregnancy in America,

and that's largelybecause women have better access

to family planning.

I would say the American peoplethink that Planned Parenthood

is actually the solution,not the problem.

-(audience whooping) -Uh, andso... Yeah, thank you for that.

Uh... but...

so I really do think that it isa matter of folks in Washington

understanding thatwomen's need for health care,

it's not a partisan issue.

And that's what I think womenare so perplexed about,

is why are peopleplaying politics

with women's health carein America?

And, uh, the women who cometo Planned Parenthood,

they're Republicans,they're Democrats,

they're Independents,because...

they're not coming to makea political statement,

they're comingbecause they need high-quality,

affordable health careand that's what we provide.

When-when the Republicans say

it's not aboutdenying women healthcare,

it's about gettingthe money to places

where we feelit would be better suited,

so they say it'll go tocommunity healthcare centers.

You know, that still meansthat there are many women

who won't have access to anyform of healthcare at all.


In fact, the communityhealth centers have said

we can't see all these patients

that Planned Parenthood sees.

The Congressional Budget Officehas said

this is gonna cost the taxpayers$130 million at a minimum

if you end women's abilityto go to Planned Parenthood.

-Is that, it that just in thedefunding of... -Mm-hmm, yeah.

-'Cause it'll actually costmoney to... -Absolutely.

-to put it all together.-To try to replace it.

-Yes. -And then the otherthing which I think

is an important partof all this,

is it's not onlythat Congress is saying

they're going toend women's ability

to go to Planned Parenthood--and not just women,

we have a lot of men that cometo us and-and young people.

Last night,in the dead of night,

-when we're all asleep, the...-At 1:30 a.m., yup.

Exactly. The United StatesSenate starts ramming though

a repealof the Affordable Care Act,

which means 20 million peoplelose their health care coverage,

it means young people, uh,

that are 26 and-and younger

can no longer stay on their, uh,parent's health insurance plan.

It means people withpre-existing conditions,

uh, can't get, uh,health insurance anymore.

And Kirsten Gillibrand,the great senator

-from the state of New York,uh, w... -(scattered whoops)

Yeah, she's fabulous. I mean,she-she had the senate vote

last night on protecting women'shealth care access, uh,

and the Republican leadershipdefeated that as well.

So I think it's importantto understand it's not only that

they want to end accessto Planned Parenthood, they want

to end access to care for a lotof folks in this country.

Uh, and I believe it's goingto cause a health care crisis.

We saw that it did in Texas,we've seen this happen

in other states.And so I hope that every person

who is watching this, if you'vebeen a Planned Parent patient

or if you care aboutaccess to health care,

you need to call your memberof congress, call your senator,

and-and callthe Trump administration.

(cheering, applause)

I, uh, appreciate your time.I thank you for being here,

and so do many peoplein the audience.

-Thank you so much for coming.-Hey, thanks for having me.

-I really appreciate it.-Cecile Richards, everybody.

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