Local Patients, Staff, and Supporters Speak in Support of Planned Parenthood's Vital Role in Health Care
Geneva, IL - Local supporters of Planned Parenthood joined together today to highlight the preventive and lifesaving services provided at Planned Parenthood and to support continued funding for women’s health care. The supporters challenged a dangerous and misleading campaign led by extreme activists who want to overturn Roe v. Wade and bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds for any purpose, including lifesaving cancer screenings and other preventive care. No federal funding to Planned Parenthood is used for abortions.
Local Planned Parenthood supporters testified just prior to the arrival of outside activists in Geneva, IL. Today’s event is one of many taking place in cities across the nation in the coming days to oppose a House of Representatives proposal to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for any purpose.
“We will not allow outside activists to go unanswered when they enter our communities to spread false information about our health centers with the goal of shutting them down and denying women basic health care,” said Brigid Leahy, Planned Parenthood of Illinois spokeswoman. “Today, we are making crystal clear exactly what Planned Parenthood means to the women and families of Kane County. The health services that our doctors and nurses provide are critical to this community, and we are telling the truth about deceptive attacks that put women's health at risk.”
At the rally in Geneva, the Planned Parenthood Truth Team — comprised of local supporters, patients and staff — spoke about the negative impact a funding ban would have on the women of Kane County. This proposed ban, which passed the House and may be taken up by the United States Senate, would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for any purpose, including lifesaving cancer screenings, testing for HIV and other diseases and even for providing family planning and birth control.
In Illinois, Planned Parenthood provides critical services to over 60,000 women and families every year.
Over 90% of Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ (PPIL) services are preventive, including lifesaving cervical and breast cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, contraceptive services, and more. In fiscal year 2010 PPIL provided 19,572 cervical cancer screenings, 21,393 breast exams, and 34,770 STI tests. The funding cuts would deny 60 percent of PPIL patients, or nearly 40,000 Illinoisans, and approximately 1.4 Planned Parenthood patients nationwide from their main source of health care.
Recent polls show that most voters strongly support continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood’s services. According to a poll by Public Policy Polling, 53 percent of Illinois voters disagree with cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood health centers. Additionally, 47 percent of Illinois voters said they were less likely to vote for their Senator if he or she voted to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding for preventive care.
Under the guise of deficit reduction, the budget passed by the House and a specific amendment to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds of any kind will have a devastating impact on America’s communities without saving the federal government a dime.
The new House leadership has made its agenda abundantly clear: sacrifice women’s health care programs and women’s health providers leaving millions of women at risk of serious health problems, including undetected cancers, HIV, and other STDs.
The Pence Amendment to bar Planned Parenthood from all receiving funds from all public health programs, including Medicaid, will hurt American women by taking away health care that they receive today. Pence’s proposal is an ideological attack on a specific health care provider that will result in more women losing access to the very basic health care they need.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) provides affordably-priced, high-quality reproductive health care services to women and families throughout Illinois. Through health care services, educational programs and advocacy efforts, PPIL works to ensure and protect the reproductive rights of each individual. For more information, visit www.ppil.org.
March 07, 2011