Health care providers from Planned Parenthood, along with patients, supporters, and even elected officials are meeting up for a rally in the Boston Common, Saturday, to protest against the congressional attempts to cut funding for the social health benefits agency.
The rally starts at 11am and will be held at the Parkman Bandstand, as organized by the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund. Scheduled to appear are Massachusetts politicians to include Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, and US Representatives Michael Capuana, Joe Kennedy III, Niki Tsongas, and Seth Moulton.
The protest was actually planned as a response to a leaked draft of a US House bill aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act; and this would include cutting off the federal funding for any “prohibited entity,” like places that perform abortions (because Federal Funds cannot be legally used for such). But Planned Parenthood also argues that the bill prohibits patients from using their Medicaid benefits to acquire important services like contraception, blood tests, STI treatments, and even cancer screenings.
Baker spokesperson, Lizzy Guyton, said, “Governor Baker is a strong supporter of women’s health and believes the commonwealth has a responsibility to ensure access to the important health care services offered by Planned Parenthood in all corners of our state.”
She goes on to say, “The administration is prepared to fund these services should the federal government pursue changes that would block care for women and families here in Massachusetts.”
The state chapter’s budget, which totals $21.5 million, includes about $2 million from Medicaid reimbursements.
Multiple states have sought to block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, but efforts have been blocked federal judges.
In response Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts CEO, Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak praised Baker for his commitment:
“At a time when extreme politicians in Congress want to block millions of people from accessing essential preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers, it is reassuring to see Governor Baker put the health and wellbeing of our communities ahead of politics.”