Feds put women's health care in jeopardy

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The new Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have launched an attack against women's health care. House leaders are looking to eliminate Title X, a national family planning program that provides low-income women with preventive care. Their agenda also includes an amendment that would prohibit all Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving any federal funds.

As a clinician, these proposals devastate me. This is not about abortion. The federal government doesn't provide funding for abortion, except in the cases of rape and incest. This is about women's health care. If legislators are successful, millions of women could lose their access to health care. Planned Parenthood provides women, both the insured and uninsured, with essential services that they simply cannot afford to lose.

Many may be unaware of the comprehensive care offered at Planned Parenthood health centers. Patients can go to the nearest center for gynecological exams, cancer screenings, vaccines, family planning services and sexually transmitted disease and HIV testing. Without these services readily available, the health of millions of women would be at serious risk.

Women are not the only ones legislators are putting at risk. If women are not treated for STDs or HIV, not only will their health suffer, but the health of sexual partners and any unborn children will be put in jeopardy as well. We live in a culture that constantly emphasizes the importance of reproductive health, especially of STD, HIV and cancer testing, yet legislators want to completely strip women of these resources.

I encourage you to contact your legislators and ask them to reject the Pence amendment for the sake of women across the country.

Val Baron
Oak Park
Planned Parenthood of Illinois clinician

Reader Comments

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Sarah from Chicago  

Posted: March 8th, 2011 1:32 PM

HABIV, can you please provide the names of some other national organizations that provide low-cost healthcare services to women? Planned Parenthood does not use federal money for abortions, but rather to provide pap smears, mammograms and flu shots, among other things, to women who otherwise would not be able to afford them. Depriving PP of federal funding would ultimately deprive women of cancer screenings and other life-saving services. How is that "pro-life?"

HABIV from Riverside  

Posted: March 2nd, 2011 2:06 PM

Ms. Baron, You miss the point. No one is against providing women with life improving medical care. All sorts of non-profit organizations serve women. It really is about abortion; which can be objectively described as the purposeful killing, by poisoning or dismemberment, of a perfectly innocent member of the human species. By funding non-abortion operations, the federal government frees Planned Parenthood's resources to focus on non-federally funded activities, such as the self-reported killing of over 322,000 babies in 2009. Assuming that nearly half of those that were attacked in womb were girls, it's surprising that you think that it's the Republicans that women should fear.

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