MEMPHIS, TN — Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR) released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed Rep. Mike Pence’s amendment to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for any purpose, including providing basic primary and lifesaving preventive health care to women and families.
Rep. Pence’s amendment would specifically prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds, including Medicaid, to provide affordable cancer screenings, birth control, HIV testing, and testing and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections. It would also cut off 48 percent of Planned Parenthood patients nationwide — approximately 1.4 million people — from their source of health care.
Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region CEO Barry Chase said, “Today, the Republican House leadership pushed through the U.S. House of Representatives an extreme and dangerous piece of legislation targeting Planned Parenthood, one of America’s largest and most trusted health care providers, and voted to prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for any purpose, including preventive health care. The outcome of this vote is radically out of step with mainstream American values and it is out of line with the issues voters want Congress to focus on.”
Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region serves more than 8,000 patients a year. In almost 22,000 patient visits last year, women, men and teens from around the Mid-South received reproductive health care including annual exams, family planning visits, birth control, lifesaving cervical and breast cancer screenings and testing for HIV and STDs. More than 95% of PPGMR’s patients are low income (150% of federal poverty level or below). For many of those patients, Planned Parenthood is their only source of health care.
The Title X federal family planning program funds essential health care that is badly needed in the Memphis area. In FY2011, Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR) will see about 5,500 unduplicated patients under the Title X program, providing:
• 5,500 annual exams
• More than 1,500 HIV tests
• More than 6,000 tests for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
• Comprehensive sexuality education to more than 5,000 clients both in the health center and through out-reach events
For every dollar of Federal Title X funding spent in Tennessee, an estimated $6.37 is saved that would otherwise be spent in TennCare related costs for maternity care.
“It now falls to Senators from both parties to join together to reject this extreme approach, restore common sense, and guarantee that Planned Parenthood and the millions of Americans who count on us for health care are protected. Ensuring that millions of women can obtain health care from their trusted provider is what mainstream Americans want and expect from the United States Senate,” said Chase.
One hundred members of Congress have signed a letter showing widespread support for Planned Parenthood. The letter declared, “We are writing to strongly oppose efforts designed to undermine women’s access to basic, preventive health care and the women’s health providers they rely on in their communities. In particular, we are deeply concerned about the impact that H.R. 217, the ‘Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act,’ [Rep. Pence’s companion, standalone bill] would have on American women and their families. H.R. 217 is aimed squarely at Planned Parenthood health centers.
Read Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region’s fact sheet on Title X federal family planning funding.
Read Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s fact sheet on Title X and the Pence bill to prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for any purpose.
Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR), founded in 1938, is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. PPGMR’s mission is to ensure broad public access to reproductive and related health care through clinic services, education, advocacy and community partnerships in serving 42 counties in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas.
Director of Community Affairs
February 18, 2011