By: Tina L. Hawley

In 2017, it is inexplicable why American women are still debating and fighting for the same issues as our foremothers.   Today’s women can serve as Army rangers, develop cures for diseases, educate the next generation of leaders, own and operate companies both large and small. Yet, our freedom over our own bodies are continuously being attacked in an attempt by the state to police a woman’s right to her own medical and reproductive decisions. 


On March 6, 2017, the GOP put forth a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with a healthcare act they refer to as “The American Health Care Act”. This act contains provisions to target and gut Planned Parenthood's funding. Thereby rendering the women’s health organization ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or Federal Family Planning Grants.


What is even more tragic is the misconception of what exactly Planned Parenthood does with federal dollars.  For those unaware, Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive health services to include providing affordable access to birth control, cervical cancer screenings, diabetes screenings, annual physical exams, a wide array of vaccinations and this is just a sample of the GOOD Planned Parenthood does in our local communities and for women across all socioeconomic backgrounds.


On March 9, 2017, President Trump suggested that Planned Parenthood could keep its funding if it stops offering abortions at any of its clinics. This is an appalling overreach by President Trump, who obviously has not done his homework; otherwise he’d realize that abortion services make up just 3% of Planned Parenthoods health services.


It is worth mentioning that the proposed GOP bill could also terminate private insurance coverage of abortion. Under the American Health Care Act, any insurance plans that cover abortion costs will be ineligible for tax credits. This will make insurance plans that cover abortion more expensive; thereby forcing insurance companies to stop covering abortions.


So, ladies, what shall we do? Wait and see, hope for the best? Or shall we send a loud and clear message of “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED” and like the women before us take a stand for ourselves, for the other women in our lives, and for future generations of women to come.


I challenge each woman and our male allies reading this to take action. Reach out to your members of Congress and demand that they stand by a woman’s right to access affordable healthcare services and to make her own reproductive decisions.


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