DENVER – Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ CEO is blasting House Speaker Paul Ryan after he announced Thursday Republicans would move to strip all federal funding for the organization.
“The announcement today could not be more dangerous for future of women's health care,” said Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
Cowart argued that defunding Planned Parenthood for not only Colorado, but also New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Wyoming would “result in a self-inflicted public health crisis.”
Many congressional Republicans, who have tried for years to cut federal funding for the nonprofit organization because it provides abortion services, saw Ryan’s announcement as a victory, CNN reported Thursday.
Coward said cutting federal funding would prevent hundreds of thousands of people from seeking lifesaving care like cancer screening, birth control, as well treatment for sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).
Democrats also point out that much of the money the organization receives comes through Medicaid, which reimburses health care clinics that provide care to those covered by the federal program.
“Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has been helping people for 100 years. People rely on us and trust us for their health care and we’re going to be here for them for 100 more,” Cowart said.
“Women and men will not let politicians play games with their health care,” Cowart added. “We will work along side other Planned Parenthood affiliates and our coalition partners across the country to fight like hell against this."
CNN reports this new effort to defund the group will spur another high-profile clash and could be a tough vote for some moderate Republicans such as Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who have opposed past efforts.
"This is a priority for the Republicans," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday afternoon. "So I just would like to speak individually to women across America: this is about respect for you, for your judgment about your personal decisions in terms of your reproductive needs, the size and timing of your family or the rest, not to be determined by the insurance company or by the Republican ideological right-wing caucus in the House of Representatives. So this is a very important occasion where we're pointing out very specifically what repeal of the (Affordable Care Act) will mean to woman."
Volunteers are expected to hold 300 events in 47 states and 150 cities in the coming weeks to “fight back against this attack,” Cowart said in a press release.
Denver7 reached out to both the Colorado Democrats and the Colorado GOP for comment, but have yet to receive a response.