Hempstead, NY— A group of leaders, staff and volunteers from Planned Parenthood of Nassau County (PPNC) rallied at the state Capitol today to urge support for family planning funding in the state’s 2011-12 budget. They joined nearly 400 supporters from around the state who were there to discuss with their elected officials the important preventive and primary care provided by some 250 family planning health centers around the state.
“Planned Parenthood of Nassau County serves 41,000 women, men and youth each year. For many of our patients, this is the only health care they receive,” said JoAnn D. Smith, PPNC’s President & CEO. “Our services are broad and include gynecological exams; cancer screenings; blood pressure and cholesterol screenings; birth control information and supplies; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections; pregnancy testing and options counseling; and comprehensive sex education for parents and teens.”
During their meetings, advocates impressed upon legislators the cost savings derived from New York’s investment in these valuable health care services, not only in the same budget cycle but also long term. “We emphasized to lawmakers that for every $1 New York spends on family planning, $4 in Medicaid costs is saved,” said Ms. Smith. “Plus, for every Medicaid dollar New York spends on family planning, the federal government reimburses the state 90 cents,” she continued.
“We recognize the state’s financial crisis and plan to work with lawmakers to find budget solutions that will maintain funding for our core services that our patients rely on to remain healthy,” said Ms. Smith
Advocates also stressed that family planning health care is part of the solution to New York’s fiscal crisis. “When women remain healthy through preventive care and can plan their families, they have greater education and employment opportunities, which improves the well-being of their families,” Ms. Smith said. “Lawmakers’ support for family planning funding is good fiscal policy.”
Planned Parenthood of Nassau County (PPNC) is one of 89 affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and operates 3 health centers in Nassau County. In 2010, PPNC provided services to more than 13,000 patients during 26,000 visits. We conducted education workshops and street outreach to 28,000 teens and families, and mobilized approximately 5,500 advocates to protect reproductive health care rights. PPNC has served the community for 78 years, and is dedicated to educating and empowering individuals to make responsible choices regarding their sexuality and sexual health. For more information about PPNC’s services and programs, visit www.ppnc.org.