Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised the work of Planned Parenthood while chasisting those who support what she sees as life-threatening policies during a meeting of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Thursday.
“First and foremost, I don’t want to hear a single person on this committee or outside of this committee talk about valuing life when they continue to uphold the death penalty, when they continue to support policies that disproportionally incarerate and lead to the deaths of Black men and people throughout this country and uphold an absolutely unjust medical system that exists for profit that allows people to die because they can't afford to live.”
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th Congressional District, discussed her and family’s involvement with the healthcare provider in the discussion about America’s Black maternal health crisis.
“If we want to talk about Planned Parenthood, let’s talk about how many lives Planned Parenthood has saved and how many babies have been because of the prenatal care provided by Planned Parenthood," she said in a virtual committee meeting.
“If you don’t believe it, and if you’ve never met a Planned Parenthood baby, I’m happy to let you know that I am one and that my mother received and relied on prenatal care from Planned Parenthood when she was pregnant with me,” she announced.
Planned Parenthood is a non profit that provides vital healthcare and helps millions of people across the United States with a multitude of family planning methods. They offer services such as abortions, contraception and testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Established in 1916, it has recently been targeted by Republicans attempting to defund it.
A recent blow was in Texas after a judge ruled that the state could remove it from its Medicaid programme on 11 March.
Texas wanted it removed from the healthcare programme because Planned Parenthood offers abortions despite Medicaid not covering the costs of abortions.
Texas County Civil District Court Judge Lora Livingston’s ruling said that the healthcare group “cite no authority for the proposition that a court injunction requires (The Texas Office of the Inspector General) to re-notice its termination,”
Before the ruling, Planned Parenthood was the main healthcare provider for more than 8,000 Medicaid claimiants.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Alexis McGill Johnson published a statement that said Greg Abbott, the Lone Star State governor, “put his politics before the people he was elected to serve.”
Last month, some Republican-controlled states began another round of legislation banning at home abortions via medication, a service heavily relied on during the pandemic because of the reduction in-person treatment to slow the spread of coronavirus.
States that have either implemented a ban or plan on doing so include Ohio and Montana.
“When we look at what state legislatures are doing, it becomes clear there’s no medical basis for these restrictions,” Elisabeth Smith, a lawyer for the Centre for Reproductive Right. “There only meant to make to make it more difficult to access this incredibly safe medication and sow doubt into the relationship between patients and providers.”