For healthcare professionals only

Feature After Obamacare

The war on US women’s reproductive rights

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 28 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3635
  1. Anne Gulland, journalist
  1. London
  1. annecgulland{at}

As US politicians continue to wrangle over healthcare reform, millions of women risk losing access to care. Anne Gulland interviews the medical director of the non-profit provider Planned Parenthood

“Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated,” said US president Donald Trump in February, when discussing his plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), introduced by president Barack Obama in 2010.

If Trump was unaware of the complexity of trying to find an agreement on healthcare five months ago, he certainly is now after two attempts to replace “Obamacare” lie in tatters. The Senate will now vote on a repeal of the ACA as well as a healthcare bill passed in 2015—known as the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015—but vetoed by then president Obama.

Even worse consequences

This 2015 bill could have even worse consequences than the Republicans’ more recent versions, health commentators are warning. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office it could leave as many as 32 million more Americans uninsured, compared with an estimated 22 million extra uninsured under “Trumpcare” plans.12

Another common thread running through these bills is the defunding of Planned Parenthood—a national organization whose 650 health centers provide services such as contraception, sexual health checks, and cancer screening to women, many of …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription