President Donald Trump delivers the commencement speech for Liberty University graduates in Lynchburg, Va., on Saturday. Trump on Sunday called for better healthcare for women and paid family leave for mothers and fathers. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo
May 15 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump called on Congress to ensure affordable healthcare for women and access to paid family leave in observance of Women's Health Week.
In a statement issued Sunday -- Mother's Day -- Trump said he recognizes the importance of healthcare for women. He pointed to the top two killers of women in the United States: cancer and heart disease.
"Thanks to new breast cancer treatments, our health care professionals have saved lives and improved the quality of life for millions of women," he said. "We must continue to foster an environment that rewards these needed advances in research."
Trump said it's important for Congress to ensure quality, affordable healthcare to reduce the number of women dying from these diseases.
"In particular, women should have access to quality prenatal, maternal, and newborn care. Under the current healthcare system, however, the lack of choice in health insurance and in healthcare providers, along with skyrocketing premium and out-of-pocket costs, are failing our citizens, our families, and, in particular, our women. Studies show that women are often the primary healthcare decision-maker for their family and they deserve better options," he said.
Trump added that men and women should have paid family leave in order to make childcare more affordable.
But legislation Trump has backed to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, would not support his Sunday statement.
The American Health Care Act, passed by the House in April, would cut funding to Medicaid, which Politico reported covers about 40 percent of pregnancies in the country. The legislation also defunds Planned Parenthood -- which provides women's health services like birth control, pap smears, breast exams, and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, in addition to abortions -- for one year.
The AHCA, if approved, would also allow states to seek waivers to offering maternity care.