Several of the country’s most prominent environmentalist groups called on legislators to nix a Republican-led effort to reform Obamacare, under the belief such changes could hurt abortion providers.
“We urge you to support communities and populations that are at risk from environmental health harms by opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” activists with Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, and the Climate Reality Project wrote in a letter Thursday to lawmakers.
President Donald Trump has joined Republican congressmen Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell in pushing the American Health Care Act to reform large sections of the Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare.
The activist groups also issued a clarion call for Congress to maintain “funding for frontline service providers, like Planned Parenthood,” a program that Republicans want defunded and Democrats consider a benchmark worth defending.
“Repealing the ACA,” the letter notes, “would also more strongly impact women’s access to healthcare as before the law millions of women were denied coverage because pre-existing conditions including breast cancer or pregnancy.”
Trump’s successful White House bid has prompted more than one environmental group to move beyond climate change advocacy.
Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, for one, has signaled a willingness to redirect his powerful political action group, NextGen Climate, to branch beyond environmental causes and begin targeting Trump’s policies.
“All of these issues are merging,” Steyer told reporters in February “There is a concerted attack from the administration and their allies against what we think of as basic American rights. It’s a barrage, honestly. It’s been a barrage against Americans and American rights.”
“It would be a mistake to try to silo issues,” Steyer said. “The response has to be much broader.”
Sierra Club has defended Planned Parenthood in the past, arguing abortions and contraceptives help reduce global warming. The eco-group also voiced support for the United Nation’s Universal Access Project, a project pushing for increased access to so-called “family planning” resources for women in third world countries.
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