Protesters descended on Washington D.C. Tuesday dressed in long red robes and heads covered in white — costumes inspired by the dystopia of The Handmaid’s Tale — to protest the Senate’s version of the Obamacare repeal bill.
The garb, which mimicked that of the Hulu show based on a 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, was meant to invoke the fictional world where women have been stripped of virtually all of their basic rights. The protesters believe the GOP health care bill will severely impede women’s care.
The Senate’s bill would prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. A majority of the organization’s federal funding comes in the form of Medicaid reimbursements, which means that patients on Medicaid would effectively be barred from using their coverage on Planned Parenthood services should the provision pass.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in its report Monday that halting the funding would impact pregnancy prevention services, and would have the biggest impact in low-income areas or locations where there are few other medical options. Planned Parenthood says 54% of its clinics are in these types of locations.
The Senate hoped to vote on the bill before the July 4th recess but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday the vote will be delayed. Some Republican Senators, like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have expressed opposition to the provision that defunds Planned Parenthood.
“There already is a ban on the use of federal funds for abortions,” Collins said after the initial legislation was unveiled. “That already exists and to single out Planned Parenthood, which provides services to so many low-income women for family planning and woman care, is just wrong and not logical.”