Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told BuzzFeed News that Ivanka Trump's silence on the Republican health care bill scheduled for a vote on Friday is “deafening.”
If it becomes law, the bill, which is supposed to repeal and replace President Obama's Affordable Care Act, would say that health insurers don't have to provide health services like maternity care.
“Any woman who votes for this bill is betraying every woman in America….women will not just lose their healthcare but lose their lives over this bill,” she said
Richards comments came during a BuzzFeed News interview with Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith.
And in response to a tweet from President Donald Trump on Friday morning, Richards called the health care bill “the most anti-woman bill that I have ever seen.”
“It’s wildly unpopular,” Richards said. “This is going to be a catastrophe for women in this country,” she said, especially those who are underprivileged.
“Women will lose their lives over this bill,” she said, adding that it was possible the group would go to court if it becomes law.
The health care bill that's scheduled to come up for a crucial vote in the House today — though it's unclear when — includes a provision to remove all federal funding from the women's health non-profit. Currently, no federal funds are permitted to be used on abortions — they go toward reimbursing Planned Parenthood for covering other services under Medicaid, like STI tests and cancer screenings.
It's unclear if the bill — which would repeal and replace President Obama's Affordable Care Act — has the votes to pass, as several far-right and moderate members say they will oppose the bill.
“It’s pretty clear they would do anything to pass this disastrous plan…to see the photographs of the Freedom Caucus, this supposedly pro-family group literally bargaining away the rights to maternity care benefits, birth control benefits,” Richards said.
President Trump's tweet on Friday morning used the Planned Parenthood defunding as a wedge to get holdouts from the Freedom Caucus — several staunchly conservative representatives who widely oppose the bill — to embrace it.
“The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!” Trump tweeted.
And when asked if she thinks the abortion rate will increase if the bill passes, she said, “It has every other time and every other place” in countries where abortion was made unavailable.