This is a sad time for women’s health when the Congress we elected to fix the economy is hurting programs that help women under the guise of budgetary cuts.
From the website of Planned Parenthood Action Center, “the nonpartisan advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America”:
“On March 9, the Senate defeated H.R. 1, a bill that used the misleading cover of deficit reduction to push an extreme ideological agenda designed to take health care away from women.
“However, the budget negotiations are not yet over and conservative members of Congress plan to continue to push to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.”
The H.R. 1 bill mentioned above, according to Planned Parenthood Action, is:
“The FY 2011 Continuing Resolution completely eliminates the nation’s family planning program, Title X. This program has provided millions of American women with lifesaving health care since Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1970. In pursuit of his extreme political agenda, Representative Mike Pence, with the full support of Speaker John Boehner, also offered an amendment to prohibit all Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving any federal funds for any purpose, including providing affordable cancer screenings, birth control, HIV testing, and testing and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections.”
What would happen if funding to Planned Parenthood was cut? From Planned Parenthood Action:
“Planned Parenthood’s 84 affiliates operate more than 800 health centers nationwide, providing health care to three million Americans a year — including men, women, and teens. Planned Parenthood health centers help women prevent an estimated 612,000 unintended pregnancies and 291,000 abortions every year.
“Planned Parenthood plays a critical role in providing health care to low-income women. Six in 10 patients who access care from a women’s health center like Planned Parenthood consider it to be their main source of health care — including routine gynecological exams, STD testing and treatment, and lifesaving cancer screenings. For many women, especially those in rural areas and underserved communities, Planned Parenthood is the only source of health care.
“Many of these women would be forced to go without health care if Planned Parenthood were defunded.”
Title X, which provides support and funding for family planning, is also threatened by the current Congress. What will these cuts mean? According to Planned Parenthood Action:
“Without Title X, more women will experience unintended pregnancies and face potentially life-threatening diseases that could have been prevented. Health centers funded through Title X now prevent nearly a million unintended pregnancies every year. They save women’s lives through cancer screening, immunization, and blood-pressure testing.
“Family planning keeps women and children healthy. In fact, access to family planning is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality rates. Publicly supported family planning even saves the government money — $3.74 for every dollar invested.
“This legislation would also have a devastating impact on Latinas. Thirty-nine percent of Latinas are uninsured, the highest rate of any ethnic or racial group in the U.S., and more than a quarter of Latinas are living in poverty. Barriers to care in Latino communities result in Latinas having a 50 percent higher mortality rate from cervical cancer than non-Latina white women.”
Among many celebrities, Scarlett Johansson supports Planned Parenthood. “Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide preventive health care to women is critical to all and should not be tampered with politically,” the actress is quoted on Planned Parenthood Action’s website.
We here at M.L.T.S. fully support women’s health and hope you do, too. There are a few things you can do to help support this organization. Sign up for email alerts from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Click here to sign an open letter to Congress defending Planned Parenthood. Attend the rally on Capital Hill on April 7th (click here to learn more and to RSVP). Donate money to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Thanks for taking a stand, guys!