Planned Parenthood supporters warn of proposed cuts

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A House-passed budget bill that plans to axe funds to Planned Parenthood clinics could leave as many as five million women without access to healthcare.

“These proposals would have serious consequences for women's health in New York City and across the nation,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

“Removing funding for women's health clinics through these proposals would likely increase the spread of STDs, increase the number of women with cervical and breast cancers who are not diagnosed until the cancers are in late stages and increase unintended pregnancies among women.”

Bloomberg joined the governors of Connecticut and Vermont, as well as Cecile Roberts, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a press briefing after the House of Representatives passed its appropriations bill for the 2011 fiscal year.

More than 90% of Planned Parenthood services are preventive, according to Roberts. Last year clinicians provided nearly one million cervical cancer screenings, 830,000 breast exams, almost four million STD tests and treatments, as well as contraception for 2.5 million patients.

“One in five American women has received care from a Planned Parenthood health center during her lifetime and last year three million patients came to one of our more than 800 centers,” Roberts said.

She estimated that Planned Parenthood services prevent about 625,000 unintended pregnancies each year based on the amount of contraception dispensed.

“In a small, rural state like Vermont, Planned Parenthood clinics are often the only source of health care low-income women get and their primary access to critical health care, not only to avoid unintended pregnancies but for general health,” Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said.

FY11 Continue Resolution proposes complete elimination of the $317 million federal Title X investment despite research that indicates every public dollar spent on family planning saves $3.74 in Medicaid-related costs.

If passed by the Senate, the proposals would cut off health care to approximately 1.4 million Medicaid patients who use Planned Parenthood as their source for health care.


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