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McGill Johnson gave an interview to Business Insider, where she expressed that she is “completely over the moon [with happiness]” that a big abortion advocate like Kamala Harris is now in the second-highest political office in the country.
“She [Harris] has really demonstrated her facility for understanding our issues, but also the intersection of sexual and reproductive health with issues of race, with issues of economics, with issues of democracy and our American values,” Johnson acknowledged. She admitted to be “completely over the moon and very excited to support her leadership and vision for how we transform health care as well as sexual reproductive health.”
Planned Parenthood CEO said she hopes the Biden-Harris Administration is “pushing bold agenda items in the name of building back better,” using Biden’s campaign slogan (Build Back Better).
Planned Parenthood wants Congress to increase funding for Title X, according to McGill Johnson, and commented that the Biden Administration should do more than reverse Trump-era rules and work to “modernize” the program, “making sure it’s inclusive for everyone, of all races and genders,” she added.
“What we’re excited to potentially see in today’s executive action is the opportunity to rebuild, to modernize, to really think about all the ways we can take a 50-year-old program and rethink it and reimagine it for the future,” said McGill Johnson, who has been president of Planned Parenthood since June 2020.
Once Biden-Harris turns things around, as they have been reversing everything in their path, Planned Parenthood will be able to reapply for Title X funds. In 2019, the organization opted out of the program rather than comply with the rules that then-President Trump had imposed. That meant giving up about $60 million a year.
McGill Johnson described the decision as “heartbreaking” and said it caused “incredible harm” to patients in some states, particularly in rural areas.
“The only way you get to that decision is when you’re forced to essentially provide substandard medical care,” she said. “We are, first and foremost, a healthcare provider. And when an Administration comes in and asks you to provide substandard care, you end up having to weigh the moral imperative of being able to provide the best care versus potential limits and access,” McGill Johnson explained.
On her relationship with the White House duo, McGill Johnson revealed to Business Insider that she has not spoken with President Biden or Vice President Harris since the election, but acknowledged that she has met via video conference with members of the transition, now Administration.
According to Business Insider, Planned Parenthood helped the Biden administration plan the White House Gender Policy Council, as well as executive orders on racial equity.
“We’re participating on the policy side, on the education side, on messaging and staffing,” McGill Johnson admits, “all ways that we think can be good policymaking, but also support the use of the bully pulpit that the White House runs.”
On the official position of the American government, Insider comments that Biden -despite his Catholic faith- is expected to go further on reproductive rights than previous Democratic presidents. The president of Planned Parenthood said she believes he and Harris will deliver given the election promises they made to enshrine abortion rights.
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017