Thursday, April 2, 2009

Greater Numbers Seek Family Planning In Recession

When we think of the recession, we mostly think of its direct implications – its effects on our workplaces, its drain on our pocketbooks. But this economic crisis appears to have another, even more personal repercussion: family planning centers and clinics are serving record numbers of patients.

In these hard times, there is a widespread need for every service that family planning clinics offer: birth control, breast cancer screening, Pap smears, STI testing and treatment, and abortion. Many women, unable to support a new baby, have come in for abortion procedures. Planned Parenthood of Illinois reported its highest ever number of abortions. Other women cannot afford contraceptives and hope to find free or affordable birth control at the centers. And some women simply need help keeping their families fed and clothed – enough that Planned Parenthood has started setting food, formula and diapers in the reception room for those in need.

As we worry about our own financial stability, it is easy to forget about the needs of others. This news from the family planning centers is a reminder of the staggering importance of the work that Planned Parenthood and health care providers do – and a reminder that we cannot cease to support them in their mission to provide women with the compassionate care they deserve.

To learn more, listen to or read NPR’s fascinating piece on the subject.

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