To the editor:
A message to our Legislators -?The dangers of defunding Planned Parenthood
The new U.S. administration has made many changes in the last two weeks, and among the next items on the chopping block are the Affordable Care Act (aka: Obamacare) and federal funding of Planned Parenthood (PP). Both of these proposed actions will have a major negative impact on our community.
The federal funds in question involve Medicaid and Title X reimbursement for direct medical services provided by PP such as annual checkups, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing/treatment, and contraception. Title X covers low-income patients unable to meet Medicaid requirements. These services are offered to men and women by PP, and are readily available to Legislators and anyone with health insurance. Moreover, only about 14 percent of the clinics receiving funding from Title X are run by PP (Guttmacher Institute). Title X does NOT provide funds for abortion and over 90 percent of the services PP clinics provide are preventative care. These statistics reveal that the de-funding of PP is not about abortion, but something else based on misinformation.
Let's face it; the majority of Americans corroborate the value of birth control as a necessary part of preventative care. More than 99 percent of U.S. women (age 15-44) and 77 percent of married women have used one form or another. Since there are 61 million women in this age group, contraception is extremely important.
This is not just a health issue, but also an economic one. We all pay for those that can't in one way or another. Birth control improves overall family health, and prevents the rise of STIs. By making it harder to obtain contraception, removing prescription coverage via Title X and Medicaid/ACA, and by de-funding PP our Legislators are sending a clear message that they don't really care about the health or economic needs of their constituents.