Funding Faces Abortion
Planned Parenthood could lose needed dollars with pending U.S. Senate vote.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
As the health insurance debate rages, another medical fire has ignited as the U.S. House of Representatives voted to ban federal funding for services that include birth control, health screenings and other care at Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest provider for reproductive health care.
Since the Feb. 18 vote in the House, online social networks exploded with protest from supporters. With the bill now headed to the Senate, Planned Parenthood representatives acknowledge cuts may have to be made, but say less funding will be devastating for current patients.
“People come to us because they really trust us,” says Eva Montes, center manager for Planned Parenthood in Salinas. “We are also open on Saturday to help provide care for the community in Salinas who, due to work, cannot come by during the week.”
According to Planned Parenthood, between July 2009 and June 2010, the Salinas center saw 15,200 patients, just under half the entire county’s total for its three locations, including Seaside and Greenfield.
“With the downhill economy, more people rely on us for their basic health needs,” says Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Fran Linkin.
She says one misconception about Planned Parenthood is that it functions solely as an abortion clinic. “The screenings and care are really important for the population who might not have access to go anywhere else.”
A woman who asked to remain anonymous says she uses Planned Parenthood for those services—even basic health care—because she could not afford a doctor.
“There is an unspoken sense of security when I went in there.”