Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

U.S. HOUSE ; Dems to Trump: Women of America Are Watching

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

U.S. HOUSE ; Dems to Trump: Women of America Are Watching

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - One day before President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, the vast majority of House Democrats are warning him to think twice before supporting and signing Republican laws that they say would undermine women's health care. A letter set to be delivered to Trump on Thursday urges the soon-to-be president to oppose GOP plans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act - which includes measures to prohibit discriminatory insurer practices and expand access to breast-cancer screenings and birth control - and to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding. It is signed by 173 of 194 House Democrats.

"We urge you to give more thought to how defunding Planned Parenthood and repealing the ACA would harm women in every district in every state, the letter reads. "Taking these steps would leave all women worse off. As President, you will have the power to prevent this looming disaster. You, more than anyone else, will have to answer to those whose benefits, coverage, and access to care is abruptly ripped away.

"The women of America are watching, Mr. President-elect, the letter continues. "As are the men who care about them. The true test of whether your policy agenda will harm or help women begins tomorrow.

The lead signers of the letter are four outspoken Democratic leaders on women's issues: Reps. Diana DeGette of Colorado, Louise M. Slaughter of New York, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts.

"The message we're sending is that we take women's reproductive rights very seriously, and the next administration needs to do the same, DeGette said Wednesday. "Women expect to have the health care that they need over the next four years. They expect to have access to a full range of reproductive health care. They expect to have access to family planning, to cancer screening, to all of the critical services that Planned Parenthood provides and that women are able to access under the Affordable Care Act in their insurance plan.

Congressional Republicans have already started the process of rolling back the ACA, and while Trump pledged in a recent Washington Post interview to provide "insurance for everybody, plans being discussed on Capitol Hill would remove many of the mandatory coverage provisions that have expanded access to women's care. …

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