In an interview published Monday morning, Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Richards admitted to BuzzFeed News that she is uncertain what lies ahead for the organization under the Trump administration. "The truth is, no one really knows what will make a difference anymore," Richards said, after a draft of the House Republican proposal to repeal ObamaCare leaked last week that called for a complete defunding of Planned Parenthood.
BuzzFeed News reports that under the leaked proposal, the low-income women who make up roughly 60 percent of Planned Parenthood's 2.5 million patients would no longer be able to receive non-abortion health care. The organization currently relies on more than $500 million in federal funding to provide services nationwide including STI tests, birth control, and cancer screenings to women in need. While Richards said her organization won't go down without a fight, she told BuzzFeed News that "there's no way to overstate what a health-care crisis this would be for women" if Planned Parenthood were to lose that funding.
Since the election, protests like last month's Women's March have sprung up all across the globe in support of reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood in particular. Richards said she and her team are on a quest to "fill in a picture for people" about the other services the organization provides aside from abortion, including running an ad featuring a woman relaying how a visit to Planned Parenthood convinced her not to undergo the procedure. Federal funds do not pay for abortion services.
Asked whether the record-breaking number of donations to Planned Parenthood since Donald Trump won the presidential election — including tens of thousands made in Vice President Mike Pence's name — could replace federal funding should Congress pull the plug, Richards said "the answer to that is no. Not to take care of 2.5 million patients."
Read the rest of the interview with Richards at BuzzFeed News.