When it comes to women’s rights, the United States has never experienced an administration like the one led by President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, said Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest.
Never has there been an administration that is so openly hostile to women, access to healthcare (particularly sexual and reproductive health care), the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and many of the most vulnerable among us, DiGiorgio Johnson said.
DiGiorgio Johnson addressed “Trump’s War on Women’s Rights” at a recent event hosted by Democratic Women of the Desert and Desert Stonewall Democrats at Aqua California Bistro.
Planned Parenthood is an international organization and, more than that, a movement that was founded more than 100 years ago in Brooklyn, N.Y., by fierce, resilient women who envisioned a world where they had the freedom to determine what path their lives would take.
“Today, over 100 years later, the vision has evolved but is basically the same: A world where sexual and reproductive health rights are basic human rights, where access to health care doesn’t depend on who you are or where you live, and where every person has the opportunity to choose their own path to a healthy and meaningful life,” DiGiorgio Johnson said.
“Since day one, they have pushed policy after policy to strip women and people of their basic health, rights, and freedoms—threats that go well beyond patients and Planned Parenthood,” DiGiorgio Johnson said.
To make it that much harder for patients to access care at Planned Parenthood and other places that offer abortion care, the administration has announced a gag rule that would prohibit Title X-funded doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers from telling patients how they can access safe, legal abortion, DiGiorgio Johnson said.
Title X, which dates back to 1970, is the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive care that four million people rely on. Of the four million people Title X serves, two-thirds live under the federal poverty level and nearly half lack insurance. Title X ensures that people with low incomes have access to contraception and gives them more control over their lives, health, careers, and economic security — and a gag rule takes that care away, according to Planned Parenthood.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, Title X patients are “disproportionately low-income, one-third are people of color, and one in 10 have limited English proficiency.”
Planned Parenthood health centers serve 41 percent of patients who get care through Title X-funded health services — yet this rule is designed to bar those patients from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers.
Preventing those patients from coming to Planned Parenthood would mean many are left with nowhere else to go, leaving them without access to birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or even general women’s health exams, according to Planned Parenthood Action Fund. But it doesn’t stop there. The gag rule would apply to 4,000 Title X-funded health care providers across the country, including community health centers, hospital-based clinics, and health departments.
“This is a direct attack on women and families, especially the most marginalized,” DiGiorgio Johnson said. “The gag rule is unethical, illegal, and harmful to public health, which is why Planned Parenthood is joining together with the American Medical Association to sue to protect patients’ rights and access to health care. Planned Parenthood will never be bullied into misleading our patients, or putting their health in danger, or giving them anything short of the absolute best care.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced in March that the state filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its new rule that restricts access to abortions and other reproductive health services.
James Williamson, president of the Desert Stonewall Democrats, played a pivotal role in bringing DiGiorgio Johnson to the desert to speak about the president’s war on women’s rights.
“The Trump/Pence Administration is determined to try to de-fund Planned Parenthood,” Williamson told Uken Report. “As supporters, we are even more determined to make sure that does not happen. The thought that the next generation could have more limited access to reproductive healthcare than we did is something we will not let happen.”
- Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson: Facebook
- James Williamson: Facebook
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