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PPWNM Statement on Pending Government Shutdown

Published: 04.08.11| Updated: 04.08.11

Statement from Katherine Humphrey, President/CEO Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan, on Pending Government Shutdown 

Planned Parenthood is a mainstream health care organization and one in five women in her lifetime has received care at a Planned Parenthood health center. The truth is that this dangerous defunding proposal would bar Planned Parenthood from being paid by Medicaid and other federal programs for providing women with birth control, cancer screenings, HIV testing, and testing and treatment for other STIs (sexually transmitted infections). 

It appears that extreme anti-choice members of Congress are willing to shut down the government over the issue of abortion, even though this is a budget debate where an agreement has been made to cut $38 billion, $5 billion more than was on the table last week. Currently no federal funds can be used for abortion services as mandated by law. There is no rational reason why this issue is part of the budget discussion. 

If anti-choice members of Congress really cared about the health and welfare of women in this country, they’d be funding Planned Parenthood and Title X, the national family planning program. Ninety-seven percent of Planned Parenthood services nationwide are life-saving, preventive health care services for three million patients a year, including more than 16,000 Michiganders served annually by Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan. Planned Parenthood does more to prevent abortion than any other agency in the country. 

Our preventative health services are offered to those who have lost their insurance or have no ability to pay; a critical service for our state, which has from a deep recession. Cutting funds for Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with the pressing issue of jump-starting our economy. Not only will restricting access to life-saving reproductive health care put women at risk, it doesn’t make economic sense. In Michigan, every dollar spent of family planned saves the state $6.47. This proposal in Congress will COST taxpayers money, and more importantly, it will cost women's lives. 

It's an outrage to shut down the government over an extreme proposal that would deny millions of women Pap tests, breast cancer screenings, and birth control. Attacking Planned Parenthood’s preventive health care hurts women, does not cut the deficit or fix the economy, and must be stopped.

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Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan provides reproductive health care and sexuality education services with locations in eight Michigan cities. Learn more at www.ppwnm.org.

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