What the House Vote to Repeal Obamacare Means for Planned Parenthood

Congress Is a Step Closer to Repealing the Affordable Care Act and ‘Defunding’ Planned Parenthood. Here’s What the Bill Actually Does, and How to Fight Back.

On May 4, the U.S. House voted to pass the worst bill for women’s health in a generation: the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This bill not only seeks to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but also to “defund” Planned Parenthood by blocking Medicaid patients from care at its health centers. 

As the bill heads to the Senate, here’s what it actually does — and what it doesn’t do.

What Thursday’s Vote Did NOT Do

  • It didn’t become law.
    The ACA repeal bill passed the House by a narrow margin, and now it faces an uphill battle in the Senate. We can expect more changes to the bill that will impact women’s health.
  • It didn’t close Planned Parenthood.
    All Planned Parenthood health centers are open as usual, and staff are doing what they’ve always done: getting up in the morning; opening the health center doors; and providing high-quality, affordable health care to all people who need it. That includes patients who rely on Medicaid coverage.
  • It didn’t cancel your insurance.
    The benefits of the ACA are still here for you, even if you’re 26 or younger and on your parents’ plan. In fact, the majority of people can still purchase a plan for $75 or less. If you have health care coverage, it is still in effect until there is an actual change in the law, which takes time. So, make your medical appointments, and get the care you deserve and are entitled to under the law.

What the AHCA Threatens to Do to Women’s Health

In particular, the AHCA would:

  • Take away health coverage for 24 million people

  • “Defund” Planned Parenthood by blocking people who rely on Medicaid from accessing preventive care at its health centers — including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment

  • Reduce access to no-cost preventive services, including birth control

  • End protections that keep insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions unaffordable rates — allowing insurance companies to once again charge people tens of thousands of dollars a month because they had cancer

  • Impose a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion

  • Undermine Essential Health Benefits — including maternity coverage and prescription drugs, which disproportionately affect women.

  • Gut the Medicaid program, which approximately 1 in 4 women of reproductive age rely on to access no-cost, critical reproductive health care (such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and maternity care)

4 Ways to Fight Back Now

Infuriated? You’re not alone. Here are the top three ways to stand up for health care and stand with Planned Parenthood right now.

#1: Call Your Senators
This is the most important way to take action right now. Use our easy online form to call your U.S. senators. We’ll give you a script so you can tell them to protect health care and stand with Planned Parenthood.

#2: Tag Your Senators on Facebook
Do you notice when somebody tags you on Facebook? Chances are,  your answer is “yes” — and that goes for your senators, too. Our simple form automatically tags your senators and gives you time to edit the post.

#3: Tweet at Your Senators
If you have Twitter, take a moment to tweet at your senators. Our easy-to-use form automatically finds your senators’ handles. It also gives you a sample tweet if you don’t want to write your own.

#4: Tweet at Reps who Voted Against Women’s Health
Click on the link above and scroll own for our list of representatives who voted in favor of this dangerous bill. If you see your House member, tell them you will not forget that they stripped access to care — and will not forgive.


when i know i should be studying hard and getting my shit togehter but all i do is watch too many shows and get way too invested in the characters’ lives.

7

Tearful Jimmy Kimmel breaks down revealing newborn son’s heart surgery.

Kimmel used his personal story to blast President Donald Trump for trying to cut $6 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health, and he applauded Congress for doing the opposite and increasing funding by $2 billion.

He said his experience shows why all Americans need access to health care, especially those ― like his son ― born with preexisting conditions.  

“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” he said. “I think that’s something that whether you’re a Republican or Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”

Some Thoughts: Storm in the Room

With the reactions post-Storm in the Room, I feel that Steven doesn’t get enough credit. Going to Rose’s Room, searching for answers, and comfort even though he didn’t know that yet, Steven wasn’t setting out to create a perfect mother or project himself the ideal version of Rose. He starts, the moment he enters the room, by saying he knew it wasn’t real.

Everything Steven did with Cloud Rose, everything that happened between them, were reasonable assumptions we could make of Rose. And this is because the Rose we saw was from Steven’s expectations of what she would be like. And Steven was wary about idealising Rose the way the Crystal Gems did. He says this explicitly several times. Also, Steven’s view of Rose was tempered early on by Greg’s stories of her. 

So the Rose we see isn’t a sad Steven’s attempt at finding the perfect mother figure. Steven’s attempt at a reasonable and believable portrayal of Rose deserves to be acknowledged. Had it not been the case, the Rose we saw could not have evoked the feelings she did. It’s because of the depth Steven introduced to her from all his memories of her that it was made possible.

And what I want to talk about in this post, is how the images of Rose reflect which narratives he’s channeling as he tries to piece together, quite literally, the image of Rose.

The first appearance of Cloud Rose shows her with messy hair, parts of it stick up and around her. Her facial expressions are often wiggly, for lack of better word, and she shows her thighs a lot more than in the succeeding scenes, either in cross-sitting or running. 

This Rose is goofy and funny and casual. And it’s the Rose whom Greg’s stories have constructed in Steven’s memories. 

The same scenes we see Rose hitch up her dress in the same way (such as when she’s reading books with Greg on the bed) or similarly goofy, like stopping a ferris wheel with her bare hands, she’s with Greg. 

Even the line Steven takes from her video in Lion 3: Straight to Video, about “every X being unique and beautiful” is shot in Greg’s presence. Without realising it, Steven is remembering this image of Rose.

And she cares about Steven. She engages in his interests. It’s not so far a stretch because some episodes back, Bismuth was willing to do the same thing. Rose was a fun person. There’s a running joke that she would have loved cheesy and corny jokes. She probably told a few in her day. 

She probably wasn’t always as poised as presented in her portrait. Greg remembers the Rose he changed, when she was starting to understand human beings in earnest and come to terms with how they could exist with gems on the same level. 

Rose at that point still didn’t want to talk about her past, and Greg never made her. So Greg and Rose made new memories and didn’t dwell on the old. And those memories were filled with fun and laughter and love.

The moment sobers when it is Rose not Steven, who gestures the latter to sit down and stare at the expanse of clouds.

And we should know that what we’re about to see means something has changed. The first hint is that Rose’s body language changes. She sits perfectly straight, even though she’s cross-sitting the way she was earlier. And we don’t see her legs anymore. Her hair neatens and her expression calms.

What’s more, her hands assume the position Garnet did in Here Comes A Thought in Mindful Education. And that emphasises the kind of role Rose plays in this moment. Steven felt Rose taught Garnet how to manage her feelings, because it was a motherly thing to do. In a very Steven Universe fashion, the music changes from the bright xylophone to a quiet piano music, which is the mark of another Crystal Gem, Pearl. 

And when we go back to the senior Crystal Gems and their image of Rose, it is exactly the way she’s presented.

Cloud Rose is a huge presence, with Steven a small child by her side. She speaks deliberately, every word is one of wisdom. She is magnanimous and comforting at the same time. 

She tells him, “But we’ve been together the entire time.” And it brings back the idea of how our parents are always with us, and a part of us, because one way or another they’ve left a mark on us.

At the same time though, the similarities of the scenes between this moment and the one at Rose’s Fountain in An Indirect Kiss, lead to the same end.

Rose is viewed as a godly icon, very distant from Steven. She’s not sitting beside him, playing with him, kneeling on the ground anymore. He looks up to her, and he can’t reach her.

In both times, he realises she’s not really there. That he talked to the statue of Rose in the fountain, confided his deepest insecurities about how he didn’t know how to feel about her when everyone else did, parallels the empty image on his phone.

And it segues into the next scene perfectly.

Because Steven doesn’t know how to feel about Rose. Now, he’s more certain than ever that he doesn’t even know who she is. The Rose we see at the end has a blank face, because Steven can’t project anything on it. He’s thinking of Pink Diamond’s shattering, Bismuth, and the Rebellion, and all the people hurt by them.

When he sees Rose, he can no longer see himself, which is why her eyes, one of the facial features most like Steven’s, (next to his nose) are nowhere to be seen.

And this Rose is distant, because there’s no mitigating narrative linking him to her. In the other scenes, the room remained the same, because these stories he was told of Rose and who she was firmly rooted the first two Roses as part of the real Rose’s identity.

This Rose is foreign, because nowhere in those narratives did Steven think it possible to for her to do the things he learned she did.

And in that moment he begins to doubt. 

Because he can no longer see the image of his mother, he doesn’t know where he himself stands. A huge part of his identity is being Rose’s son. What happens when the “Rose” part becomes fuzzy, blurry, and unintelligible?

What happens to the Steven?

Notice that this Rose is silent. She offers no response to the accusations Steven hurls at her, about all the people she hurt and her act of leaving them all behind. 

At this point, we see the part of Steven that understands Rose is gone. That he’s never going to get these answers and there won’t be an explanation coming from her.

There are some things he’ll never get to hear about, some memories he’ll never know, some experiences he’ll never share with her.

And it’s sad and disheartening and lonely. In losing his idea of Rose, Steven loses a part of his identity. Such that he felt it would be better if he denounced Rose, cutting off the part of himself he didn’t want to think about: That he was created just to fix her mistakes.

It’s then that we see Rose’s face for the first time since we’ve entered the paradigm of Rose-through-Steven’s eyes. Not Greg’s, not the Crystal Gem’s. Because these new things he’s learned about Rose are things the others would never have known without him. How else would they have heard the Diamond’s song of mourning? How would they have known Bismuth was there all along?

And the things Rose said in the tape were meant for Steven, in a space only Steven could find.

The Rose speaking to Steven at the end is the Rose who’s already spoken to Steven directly before, through the tape.

A lot of negative reaction has been given to this moment, because it feels as though the tape absolves Rose of everything she’s done. It doesn’t and I don’t feel that was the point.

The point of her saying that, was to reaffirm Steven’s belief in Steven. To show that it wasn’t about Rose anymore, that Steven’s birth wasn’t about Rose but about him.

And it’s striking that’s the only time we see her face again. Because immediately after, Steven hugs her, and her face is obscured. 

That’s Steven’s recognition that he’s never going to hear any other words straight from his mother for him. He understands and he realises that nonetheless, Rose is exerting a presence in his life. He really is always with her and never alone. 

The past few episodes and everything leading up to them were about Steven’s realising his mother was still an individual, one who could made mistakes and rash, selfish decisions. 

He was afraid that upon realising his mother could be a selfish individual, could do huge selfish things that affected thousands of lives, he feared the act of his birth, the most personal thing about him, was meant to serve her self-interests alone too. He needed a concrete and tangible answer, which was what prompted him to go to the room. 

At the end of the episode, he didn’t think that anymore. He knows he has a lot of work ahead in figuring out Rose’s place in his life, but the lingering doubt of the very foundation of his existence is gone.

And because of that, he finally feels comfortable letting her go.

The Trump administration’s top family planning official doesn’t think birth control works

  • Trump will reportedly be appointing not one but two vocal abortion opponents to the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • According to Politico, Teresa Manning — a law professor and anti-choice, anti-contraception activist — will be named deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Population Affairs, which delegates Title X funds to family planning initiatives. 
  • The appointment hasn’t been formally made yet, but according to Politico, “several sources” have confirmed it.
  • Manning, formerly Wagner, has worked both for the National Right to Life Committee and the Family Research Council, and has written a book on the “pro-life movement." 
  • She has used her platform to prop up medically inaccurate claims about the purported link between breast cancer and abortion, which medical experts agree does not exist. 
  • She has also argued at length against emergency contraception. In a 2003 interview with WBUR Boston Manning said the above about contraception in general. Read more (5/1/17)