The Right Wing

Shocked Trump Voters Are Calling Planned Parenthood

Apparently, they had no idea they might lose their access to health care.

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thirty-six days before Donald Trump takes office, President Obama issued a final rule to protect Planned Parenthood and the millions of Americans who benefit from its services. Under this measure, effective Jan. 18, states will be required to distribute federal family-planning funds to Planned Parenthood affiliates and other health clinics that provide reproductive health care. 

The funding would go towards contraception, sexually transmitted infection, fertility, pregnancy care, and breast and cervical cancer screening services—funding that Republican-dominated states have attempted to block the organization from receiving. 

"As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, I'm pro-life, I'm totally against abortion having to do with Planned Parenthood," Donald Trump said on February 25, 2016, during a CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on the eve of the Texas primary. 

"I wouldn't fund it; I would defund it because of the abortion factor," Trump continued, despite praising the organization, a rarity for Republicans.

President Obama obviously heard the threat and decided to do something about it in his remaining days as president. On "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC Wednesday night, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the move by President Obama "very significant."

"It means that millions of women who count on Planned Parenthood for their family planning and their cancer screening can continue to go to us for care," Richards explained before touting some of the organization's accomplishments. 

"[The Obama] administration has been phenomenal. We have a record low for teen pregnancy in America a 30-year low for unintended pregnancy. We want to keep making progress, but obviously we are in a big fight here," she said, turning to the imminent danger of a Trump presidency. 

"We are now in the fight of our lives with this new administration and certainly the new Congress on protecting access for women," Richards said, stressing that the fight is about access to health care. Just three percent of all Planned Parenthood services are abortion services. 

Trump famously and frighteningly said "women should be punished" for having abortions during the campaign, and then swiftly backtracked on the statement. But VP-elect Mike Pence has remained firm on his opposition to abortion and to Richards' organization. 

"Mike Pence unfortunately has said he would end that access to care... I run into women every single day who say, 'You know that Planned Parenthood is the place I go for my annual exam; I don't know where we'd go without you.'" 

And while the battle to defund Planned Parenthood is heavily partisan, the organization's clients are not. 

"The women who come to Planned Parenthood, they are Republicans, they're Democrats, they're Trump voters. These are women who had no idea that their health care access was at stake," Richards noted. 

One week before the election, a Politico poll showed that, unlike Republicans in Congress, Trump voters predominantly support federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

"We're seeing this as women are calling us and saying, 'I voted for Donald Trump, but I had no idea I might lose my access to health care'; that's the point we're going to be making," Richards explained. 

Watch:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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