Planned Parenthood at risk of losing government funding, services

By Lindy Almony |

Planned Parenthood may soon be denied all government funding and Staci Fox, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of North Florida, is distraught about the possibility. “At a time when more and more women and families are facing difficulties in accessing health care due to increasing costs and a struggling economy, it is disappointing that one of the first bills introduced in Congress would undermine women’s access to health care,” Fox said.

According to The Washington Times, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) is urging Congress to support the Title 10 Abortion Providers Prohibition Act, which would “cut off what is in excess of $350 million in taxpayer money that flows into Planned Parenthood through Title 10.” Pence said it would be fiscally responsible to deny any and all funding to Planned Parenthood.

Congress already prohibits the use of government money to fund abortion services, except in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. Planned Parenthood performs abortions with money that comes from other sources.

Fox said other valuable services would be lost if funding is denied. “Pence has introduced legislation that would have a devastating impact on women’s health by denying health centers across the country federal funding for preventive care, including family planning, annual exams, lifesaving cancer screenings, contraception visits, and testing and treatments for sexually transmitted infections.”

Lauren Lake, a St. Augustine resident, recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in women’s studies. She said that a major incentive for using Planned Parenthood services is that they are affordable to low-income women. “Where would they go otherwise, especially if they do not have health insurance?,” Lake asked.

Carol King, director of crisis prevention programs at Ark Youth Ministries in St. Augustine believes strongly that all government funding to Planned Parenthood should be cut. King said that Planned Parenthood encourages abortions, and that there are other ways for young adults to receive information and medical attention.

A significant majority of Americans oppose King’s beliefs and the bill. According to a recent Hart Research poll, 71 percent of all voters, including 60 percent of voters who voted for a Republican candidate for Congress in 2010, disagree with the bill’s restrictions on federal funding.

Judy Angyalfy, a Flagler College nurse, said cutting federal funding from Planned Parenthood “would put us in a backwards situation.” She said many young adults might not have anywhere else to go if services such as HIV testing, birth control services and women’s health services are unavailable at Planned Parenthood.

“Overlooked is the fact that Planned Parenthood actually prevents more than 600,000 unintended pregnancies every year in this country, in addition to providing other health care to women in need,” said Fox. She said that more than 90 percent of the care Planned Parenthood health centers offer is preventive.

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