Fighting for Affordable Health Care with Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly in Tucson

On Saturday, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly, Tucson Mayor Rothschild, and the Center for American Progress’s Topher Spiro joined the Drive for Our Lives bus in Tucson.

In Tucson, one thing was very clear: Arizonans aren’t waiting for the Republicans’ next attack on the Affordable Care Act. Even after our victory two weeks ago in the U.S. Senate, they’re still organizing and still working to improve our health care.

At the event, we heard from Alkhansa Ward from Tucson, who shared her story about the importance of Planned Parenthood.

“There are some lawmakers in our country who seem to believe that a lot of issues are black and white, but most often they’re not. Health care, and in my particular example, sexual reproductive health care is a broad issue with so many contributing factors involved.
I grew up with essentially no sexual health education. I wasn’t informed about contraception, or protection, or risk factors, or any of those implications, and at 18, I became pregnant.

For the first month and a half of my pregnancy, I strongly considered having an abortion. I was terrified that I wasn’t going to be a good enough parent. Ultimately, I did get past my fears and I decided not to terminate my pregnancy, but the point here is that I came to that decision. It was my choice, and I had that choice because of Planned Parenthood.

My daughter is now seven years old, and I’ve grown up a lot with her these past seven years. Having my daughter didn’t prevent me from graduating from college or pursuing life goals, but for some people it can. And what’s worse, in communities where access to women’s health services are restricted, there are higher rates of child abuse and neglect. As a foster parent, I’ve been able to see first-hand the results of child abuse and neglect, and it’s devastating.

Fortunately, the U.S. Senate’s Affordable Care Act repeal bill did not pass, but there is still so much work to be done—and Republicans won’t stop trying to repeal this. It’s our responsibility as constituents to continue to hold our elected officials accountable to ensure that no bill is passed in the future that would prevent any American from accessing the health care that they need.

Health care should not be treated as a privilege for the wealthy or the elite. It is a human right. The continuity and progress of our society depends on our ability to fulfill our basic human needs and health care is one of those basic human needs.”

We also heard from Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly about the importance of continuing to fight back against Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Watch our entire event in Tucson here — then find a Drive for Our Lives event near you here.