Friday, December 12, 2008

Abortion Foes Attack Planned Parenthood Funding

Anti-abortion groups are lobbying state and local governments to reduce public funding for Planned Parenthood, claiming that the organization does not need or deserve public support. Anti-abortion groups insist Planned Parenthood “shouldn't be granted scarce public funds at a time of economic crisis,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

One third of Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from government grants and contracts to support non-abortion-related health care for poor women and teenagers. Anti-abortion groups maintain this finical support indirectly goes to funding abortions. Planned Parenthood provides crucial medical services to low-income women and men. The need for affordable health care is only increasing as many families face layoffs and the loss of medical insurance. In the past, funding cuts have forced Planned Parenthood clinics to close, raise fees, and cut back on subsidized contraception.

The Family Research Council, one of the loudest voices in this campaign, has sent letters to 1,200 state lawmakers urging them to redistribute public funds. Planned Parenthood executives say the campaign misleads legislators about the actual state of the group’s finances. Many argue that cutting Planned Parenthood funding is thoughtless because it will cost taxpayers more in the long run if women do not have access to birth control.

In fact, according to NFPRHA, for every dollar of public funding that goes into family planning, four dollars are saved in Medicaid costs. Each year, approximately 7 million women receive contraceptive services from publicly funded family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood. These family planning clinics funded by Title X are not only needed but are vital to the well-being of women’s health in this country. If the funding was taken away from these clinics when they are needed most it would be a disaster. Do not let anti-choice voices be the only ones heard. Tell your elected officials that you support funding for family planning clinics today!

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