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Girls & Women

Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards: ‘Women’s Need For Healthcare Is Not a Partisan Issue'

It’s been a busy few weeks for Planned Parenthood’s president and chief executive, Cecile Richards.

Two days after revealing to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the healthcare organization has seen a 900% increase in women scheduling appointments to get an IUD, she appeared on "The Daily Show" with Trevor Noah Thursday night armed with some dramatic statistics about women’s access to healthcare in the United States. 

“We’re at a 30-year low for unintended pregnancy in America,” Richards said. “We’re at a historic low for teenage pregnancy in America, and that’s largely because women have better access to family planning.” 

Read more: Planned Parenthood: What Will Happen If Congress Slashes Its Funding

Planned Parenthood, according to its website, provides healthcare to 2.5 million people each year at 650 healthcare centers across the country, and 80% of the women who rely on Planned Parenthood for contraceptive and other care live below the federal poverty line, according to The Nation.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has said that the Republican Party plans to remove federal funding from the organization. However, this initiative faces conservative opposition in Congress from the likes of Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME), CNN reports.  

Jonathan_Butler_2015_Planned_Parenthood.jpgImage: Wikimedia Commons/Mark Schierbecker

In her Daily Show appearance, Richards stressed that Planned Parenthood offers services to a diverse population of Americans, and not just Democrats. 

“Women’s need for healthcare, it’s not a partisan issue,” she said. “The women who come to Planned Parenthood, they’re Republicans, they’re Democrats, they’re independents. They’re not coming to make a political statement. They’re coming because they need high-quality, affordable health care and that’s what we provide.” 

She went on to speak more broadly about the Republican initiative to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which could leave 20 million people without healthcare coverage

Read more: Republicans Just Voted to Repeal Obamacare In the Middle of the Night

“I think it’s important to understand, it’s not only that they want to end access to Planned Parenthood, they want to end access to care for a lot of folks in this country,” she said. “I believe it’s going to cause a healthcare crisis.” 

Richards, however, is not discouraged. 

“I’m energized,” she told Noah on Thursday. 

As the fight over Planned Parenthood and other healthcare services heats up in Congress, women living in poverty will be most directly affected, and their voices need to be heard now more than ever.

Let’s hope Richards continues to direct her energy to their needs.