Six Rivers Planned Parenthood protesting proposed elimination of federal funds

Published: | Updated: 02.24.11

Six Rivers Planned Parenthood protesting proposed elimination of federal funds
Donna Tam/The Times-Standard
Posted: 02/24/2011 01:15:41 AM PST


Six Rivers Planned Parenthood is holding a rally Friday to protest the U.S. House of Representatives' vote to eliminate funding for reproductive health services.

The House voted last week to pass a bill sponsored by U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, R-Ind., that would eliminate federal funding for abortion providers the next fiscal year. Pence has said that the bill targets the Planned Parenthood organization.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill in March. Six Rivers Planned Parenthood is holding its rally at 4:30 p.m. at the Humboldt County Courthouse Friday in response.

”We're hopeful that we can fight back these attacks as the Senate vote comes our way,” SRPP public affairs director Tia Baratelle said.

Pense called the vote “a victory for taxpayers and a victory for life,” according to a press release from his office last week.

”By banning federal funding to Planned Parenthood, Congress has taken a stand for millions of Americans who believe their tax dollars should not be used to subsidize the largest abortion provider in America,” he said in the release.

Baratelle said the bill would cut federal funding for reproductive health services, which includes preventative care such as cancer screening, sexually transmitted diseases screening and treatment, and contraceptive services. She said preventive care makes up most of SRPP's services, while abortion services account for less than 10 percent of what the agency provides.
She said a cut in funding may not necessarily end services altogether, but it would limit the amount of patients that could be served. Baratelle said SRPP had more than 22,000 patient visits last year.

”Our doors are open to everyone, whether or not they can pay, so we're going to continue to provide those services,” she said. “Whether we will be able to serve as many people, that would be the question.”

Herrmann Spetzler, the chief executive officer for Open Door Community Health Centers, said cuts to SRPP services would also affect Open Door, which may have to shoulder some of the burden.

”We have a pretty fragile medical community on the North Coast. We don't have a lot of excess capacity in primary care and anything in primary care needs to be stabilized whether that's in the private sector or the nonprofit sector,” he said.


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