Kansas is the latest in an unprecedented wave of attacks on care at Planned Parenthood
Washington, D.C. – Today, Governor Brownback’s administration took action to block Medicaid patients from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood effective May 10. This comes just weeks after the Obama Administration issued guidance to lawmakers in all fifty states, once again making it clear that recent politically motivated efforts to block Planned Parenthood patients from accessing care through Medicaid violates long-standing federal law.
Since July, politicians in at least 24 states have threatened to end access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if patients who rely on public health programs are blocked from coming to Planned Parenthood, up to 650,000 people would face decreased access to health care in just a one-year period.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“People come to Planned Parenthood because we are the provider they know and trust for compassionate, quality, affordable care. Yet politicians in nearly half the states in this country are threatening care at our health centers. Members of Congress, governors, and other politicians have the right to choose their health care provider; our patients should have the same right.”
Statement from Laura McQuade, CEO of Planned Parenthood Kansas and Mid-Missouri:
“This is not over. Our doors are open today, they’ll be open tomorrow, and we’ll fight this with everything we’ve got. Governor Brownback has made it clear he doesn’t care about the health and well-being of our patients. He’s using health care as a political football, and it’s Kansans who will pay the price if he’s not stopped. ”
Blocking care at Planned Parenthood has very real and devastating consequences for the communities served. After Scott County, Indiana, forced the local Planned Parenthood health center to shut its doors in 2013, the community was left with nowhere to turn for HIV testing and education. Now the county is facing an unprecedented HIV outbreak, which Governor Mike Pence deemed an “epidemic.” In Texas, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that blocking patients from going to Planned Parenthood led to a 35% decline in women on Medicaid using the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27% spike in births among women who had previously had access to injectable contraception.
Planned Parenthood serves thousands of Kansans each year. Planned Parenthood health centers serve an outsized role in meeting the health care needs for those who rely on federally funded health programs. More than half of Planned Parenthood's health centers across the U.S. are in underserved patient communities, such as rural or medically underserved areas. Without Planned Parenthood, many patients could have nowhere else to turn for reproductive health care.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
May 03, 2016