Planned Parenthood of Montana believes that all Montanans should be guaranteed access to quality, affordable health care.
Across Montana, 5 Planned Parenthood health centers provide a wide range of reproductive health care to millions of women every year. The vast majority, more than 90 percent, of this health care is preventive and includes contraception, cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and immunizations. Such reproductive health care is basic health care, and must be covered by any national health insurance plan if we are to meet women's health care needs.
Essential community providers like Planned Parenthood health centers are already critical to making health care affordable and accessible in their communities. We must ensure that these community health care providers are included in health care reform to safeguard access for current patients and to ensure that newly insured women and families can access these trusted providers close to home.
Here are the facts across the country:
# Women are more vulnerable to high health care costs because women's reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including visits for yearly annual exams, pap tests, mammograms, and obstetric care.
# Tough economic times are especially difficult for women struggling to afford basic health care.
# Women of childbearing age spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, in part because of reproductive health-related supplies and services.
# Roughly 16.7 million women are uninsured, and thus likely to postpone care and delay or forgo important preventive care, such as cancer screenings.
# Six in 10 clients consider family planning centers, like Planned Parenthood health centers, their main source of health care. Often, these centers are their only interaction with the country's health care system.
Those who want to deny access to comprehensive reproductive health care will continue to target both Planned Parenthood and the health insurance coverage that meets all the health care needs of women, men, and teens. We need your help to guarantee every Montanan can access affordable health care.