Loyola: Planned Parenthood Faces Cuts in Federal Funding

Loyola Stop IconBy Nimrah Pervez
The Red Line Project

Posted: Sunday, March 6, 2011

Planned Parenthood, a family planning organization, may be taking drastic cuts to their federal funding, leaving some Rogers Park resident's concerned about their health care.

Molly McKenna, a resident of Rogers Park, worries the amendment will affect her ability to continue to monitor her health.

“I come here annually for my cervical cancer screening,” McKenna said, “I don’t have insurance right now, and this is a cheap way to keep an eye on my health.”

At the end of last month, The United States House of Representatives voted to eliminate almost $75 million of federal funding provided to Planned Parenthood. If the bill is passed by the Senate, all federal funding will be cut from Title X programs.

Title X, passed in 1970 as a provision of the Public Health Service Act, provides funding for family planning services. While this money is forbidden to be used for abortion services in most cases, anti-abortion activists having been putting the pressure on representatives to cut federal funding.

“It’s a shame because we offer much more than abortion services,” said Rogers Park Planned Parenthood employee Lupe Gustavez.

Other services include cancer screenings, vaccines, sexually transmitted disease testing, birth control services, and even adoption referrals. According to a fact sheet on the organizations website, they made 2,405 adoption referrals. This number was dated as current as September 2010.

“The money from federal funding does not go to abortions, except in cases of incest and rape,” Gustavez said, “People don't realize how many preventative services we provide, especially for those who can't afford healthcare,".

Planned Parenthood offers discounted rates for services to students and those in low income households. The Rogers Park location, located in close proximity to Loyola University, hopes the proposed cut on federal funding does not effect their business.

“We offer birth control services, which is in high demand, especially here. Some people look at us and think abortion, but we also offer the means to practice safe sex, and hopefully prevent abortion” said fellow Rogers Park employee Margo Winds.

Jeff Teague, president of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, told the Associated Press Wednesday that the cut in federal funding would not close the organization down.

“We are consistently trying to figure out how to do more with less,” Teague told reporters.

According to Teague, those who cannot afford these services will suffer the most if the bill is passed.

 Early Friday afternoon, the Senate Appropriations Committee released information suggesting language cutting off funding to Title X would not be included in their long term spending budget.

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