Chelsea Handler, Gabrielle Union Highlight Planned Parenthood's Cancer-Fighting Work as Non-Profit Faces Cuts
As Planned Parenthood faces the loss of federal funding under the House Republicans’ proposed plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, celebrities including Chelsea Handler, Gabrielle Union, Bridget Moynahan and Stacy London are highlighting the work the non-profit women’s health organization provides to detect and prevent cancer.
Handler recently tweeted that Planned Parenthood offers more than 650,000 cancer prevention and screening services per year, and directed people toward a group called Cancer Survivors for Planned Parenthood, which aims to unite those who are concerned politicians could “eliminate access” to that work.
Other stars highlighted the stories of survivors who benefited from cancer-related services Planned Parenthood provides.
The Being Mary Jane star, 44, shared a video ad of a woman named “Jamie,” who credits Planned Parenthood with helping to save her life after she found a lump on her right breast. (The ad was produced by the Cancer Survivors Network for Planned Parenthood, and is currently airing nationwide.)
“I called Planned Parenthood, and they got me in that day. Within two and a half weeks I had a complete, radical mastectomy … Had Planned Parenthood not gotten me that appointment, I probably wouldn’t be around,” Jamie says in the video.
(According to the Washington Post, Planned Parenthood offers clinical breast exams for women, but refers them elsewhere for mammograms. Other services, including cervical cancer screenings and Pap tests, are often done onsite.)
Moynahan and London shared the same video in their tweets.
Earlier this month, House Republicans released their proposed healthcare plan, and in it is a provision to potentially defund Planned Parenthood by blocking its eligibility to receive Medicaid reimbursements or federal family planning grants, according to the Washington Post.
However, President Donald Trump later released a statement to The New York Times stating that he would support continued funding for Planned Parenthood if it stopped offering abortion services. (The organization receives about $500 million in annual federal funding, but none of the funds are used for abortion services, according to the Times.)
“As I said throughout the campaign, I am pro-life and I am deeply committed to investing in women’s health and plan to significantly increase federal funding in support of nonabortion services such as cancer screenings,” Trump said in his statement. “Polling shows the majority of Americans oppose public funding for abortion, even those who identify as pro-choice. There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women’s health, while not providing abortion services.”
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Meanwhile, Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said that it would not accept Trump’s proposal.
“Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept,” she said, per the Times. “Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is nonnegotiable.”