The Republicans have started the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and women's health is on the chopping block. According to Mother Jones, Republicans have already rejected an amendment to cover the full cost of contraceptives. Planned Parenthood estimates that this would leave 55 million women without birth control.
During the deliberations in the Senate, some politicians did speak out for women. "If my colleagues destroy the Affordable Care Act, it will have real, direct, and painful consequences for millions of American women and their families," Sen. Kristen Gillibrand said. The senator tried to pass an amendment that would require health insurance companies to cover birth control and mammograms for free, among other provisions, but it was voted down.
Individual states, worried about the effects of the repeal, have already begun taking steps to protect their citizens. In New York, for instance, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act of 2017. “The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act will ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the birth control method they need to stay healthy and effectively plan for their future – no matter what happens in Congress," he said in a press release.
The next process in the Obamacare repeal is to go to the House, which may be passed as soon as today. New York Magazine reports that a full repeal may take weeks or months. As of now, Republicans have no set plan on what their replacement healthcare policy will be.