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House Budget Would Decimate Women’s Health Care in Cities and Rural Areas, Governors and Mayor Say

House Budget Would Decimate Women’s Health Care in Cities and Rural Areas, Governors and Mayor Say

In a conference call today, the Governors of Connecticut and Vermont and the Mayor of New York City described the devastating effects the GOP’s cuts to Title X and Planned Parenthood would have on women in their states as well as on the fiscal health of their region.

Juxtaposing the needs of women in one of the nation’s largest cities (New York City) and in Vermont, one of the nation’s most rural states, the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg and the Governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin spoke today about the effects that cuts to both Title X and to Planned Parenthood would have on the populations they represent. Each of their concerns were echoed by Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy.

Last week, the GOP/Tea-Party-dominated House of Representatives passed both a Continuing Resolution (CR) that effectively eliminates funding for Title X programs, and the Pence Amendment to the CR that specifically targets Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), prohibiting federal funding of preventive health care services provided by the organization.

Over 90 percent of services provided by Planned Parenthood clinics are preventive care, including breast and cervical exams, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and providing contraceptive supplies.  PPFA clinics serve more than 5 million clients across the country each year. If the House budget and the Pence Amendment are passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama, literally millions of women and men will lose their only source of health care.

“[Cuts to] Title X and the Pence are not about fiscal responsibility or cutting the U.S. budget,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “These cuts are purely about politics.  And they will have serious consequences for women’s health care across New York City and the nation.”

More than 8 million people live in New York City; more than half the population is 25 years of age or younger. And over 15 percent of the population lives at or below the poverty level. Planned Parenthood provides access to essential preventive care to more than 50,000 residents of New York City each year, conducting more than 79,900 tests for sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), 12,000 life-saving cervical cancer screenings, and 56,000 contraceptive visits.

“These clinics are often the only place where poor and working women can see someone for care,” said Bloomberg. 

Moreover, he noted, increased access to contraceptives has reduced the rate of abortion in New York City in the last decade.  “Our numbers are going in the right direction,” Bloomberg stated. But, he continued:

“If you want to reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions, cutting funds to Planned Parenthood is not the way,” he continued. “It would take us in the other direction, and it would cost us money. Everyone is talking about how the government is spending too much money, but cutting [preventive care provided by Planned Parenthood] will cost more money and lead to more unintended pregnancies and abortions.”

Bloomberg also noted that the loss of funding for family planning services and the consequent increase in unintended pregnancies would adversely affect both infants and small children because without access to contraception, more women will have “more unintended pregnancies, more closely spaced,” which is harmful for both mother and infant.”

Governor Shumlin raised deep concerns about the effects these cuts would have on rural women in his state which is, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, “atypically rural.” Planned Parenthood of Northern New England sees more than 19,500 patients each year, and provides more than 24,700 STI tests (including HIV tests), 5,500 cervical cancer screenings, 9,600 breast exams and 17,000 contraceptive visits.

“Here in Vermont, cutting Title X money would be devastating,” warned Shumlin. “In a small, rural state like Vermont, Planned Parenthood clinics oftentimes are the only source of health care [rural] low-income women get and the only access they have to critical health care, not only to avoid unintended pregnancies but for general health care.”

“This is more about politics than policy,” Shumlin stated.

Connecticut Governor Malloy said he’d written to Connecticut’s congressional delegation, urging them to “come to their senses” when it comes to cuts to programs such as Title X and funding for Planned Parenthood.” Planned Parenthood of Southern New England sees more than 62,300 patients each year, providing more than 90,400 STI tests (including HIV tests), 16,700 lifesaving cervical cancer screenings, 5,200 breast exams and 55,300 contraceptive visits

Shumlin and Bloomberg also stated they’d written to both their delegations and to House leadership.

Eliminating these funds would, they all agreed, increase rates of undiagnosed and untreated cervical and breast cancer, leading to increased deaths among women; and lead to an increase in unintended pregnancies and abortions.

“We have a choice,” Shumlin concluded. “We can play politics and cut off our nose to spite our face, or we can do the right thing and fund Planned Parenthood.”

This post first appeared on RH Reality Check.

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by armigeress
By Jodi Jacobson, Editor-in-Chief, RH Reality Check

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34 comments

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12:33AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Now, you have mentioned health (and affiliated factors such as hunger), poverty, illiteracy, ineffectiveness of law, etc. as contributing to the reaching of your conclusion, but, it is not at all clear from your article why the living standards of rural folk will be degraded on moving to cities.
I would like to comment on each of these factors, in turn:
1. Health
You do an excellent job apprising us of the pathetic healthcare situation in rural areas, but tell us that the inhabitants of these areas will be better off sticking to village life, since they will be unable to afford the healthcare services provided in cities.
To me, this seems a problem that is not very difficult to solve. The reduction in rural population should allow the government to divert some of the funds currently being spent on rural healthcare to sponsor medical services for the urban poor. A similar argument could be put forth for related issues such as food and water, which are more in more plentiful supply in cities than in villages. In fact, this might actually be on the mind of our PM, who is also a perspicacious economist.

Regards,
Cliff Merchant MD

6:36AM PST on Feb 28, 2011

Everyone needs to write John Boehner and air your grievances. They don't like getting emails pointing out their stupidity. spread the email address to your friends... AsktheLeader@mail.house.gov

9:40PM PST on Feb 27, 2011

Oui, les femmes les pauvres ainsi que les handicapés n'ont pas réelement de place dans nos sociétés.
Surtout, on ne semble pas trouver l'argent dans les budjets.

Maria Soto
Montréal, Canada

4:26PM PST on Feb 27, 2011

I'll tell you what since you Republicans are so head-set on insuring that My Family & I can NOT receive low-cost or God-forbid free Health Care & Dental Care! How about the Very ones of you who are trying so hard to deprive others of the right to try 't remain Healthy or receive care if/when needed, pay for My Families Health & Dental care out of pocket! "I WORK, WHICH MEANS I PAY TAXES, WHICH MEANS I HELP PAY YOUR SALARIES, FOR YOUR BENEFITS PACKAGE, ETC...! Instead of trying to kill off those of us who are working & contributing to the economy & system! Why don't you afford me the accessibility for My Family & Myself that I am paying for off of my back & out of my pocket for some chicks on Welfare who refuse to work & get away with it! After all "I AM PAYING INTO THIS SYSTEM THEY ARE NOT!!!" I do NOT owe it to ANY other grown capable human-being to take care of the definitely "NOT at the expense of My Own Family!!!"

11:19AM PST on Feb 26, 2011

That's the Republican Way! They were voted in .... now this country is at their mercy. Those who have get more and those who do not .... get what little they have taken away and get nothing. A step back in more ways than one.

3:56PM PST on Feb 25, 2011

I meant to say that Republicans used scare tactics to get uniformed Americans to vote for them. They made all these promises and have done nothing but make these massive cuts to things that this country needs!

3:54PM PST on Feb 25, 2011

This is disgusting! More people, like mister Bloomberg and other leaders need to stand up to this craziness and political games. It is going to cost people their lives and harm families in the process.

These Republicans are no worse than the zany and evil dictators of our past. It's sickening what their doing over there in Washington. They need to be kicked out for not justly serving their fellow Americans.They have scared those that voted them in and now they have went back on their promises to them.

Remember people, a majority of Republicans don't care about you so don't vote for these extremists. They are standing in the way of progress for this county!

6:08AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

Horrible!

10:40PM PST on Feb 24, 2011

It is time these last generations learn the power of protest. Take a look at what's happening in Wisconsin. The people should not fear the government, the government should fear the people.

5:59AM PST on Feb 24, 2011

Pourquoi est-ce si controversé?

Ma.

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