Health providers, patients and supporters of Planned Parenthood, including Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and City Councilor at-Large Ayanna Pressley, will rally in the Boston Common Saturday morning against nationwide efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers.
The rally was planned by the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts after a leaked draft of the U.S. House bill set to repeal the Affordable Care Act also included a provision to revoke the use of federal funds toward institutions that perform abortions. The Hyde Amendment already prevents federal money from funding abortion services, but, if passed, this new law would prevent patients from using Medicaid to pay for any services any Planned Parenthood–including breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraceptives and tests and treatments for sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV.
According to a press release from Planned Parenthood, 9,300 patients currently rely on Medicaid to pay for those services at Planned Parenthood health centers each year. Those disproportionately affected would be low-income people of color and people in rural communities, according to the release.
“The majority of Americans and Massachusetts voters support Planned Parenthood and do not want patients blocked from care,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement. “Massachusetts residents will make their voices heard at Saturday’s rally and make clear they are prepared to stop these attacks, protect Planned Parenthood and defend access to reproductive health and rights