Planned Parenthood could face state budget cuts
Thu, 07 Apr 2011 03:40:37 GMT —
State budget cuts are taking aim at Planned Parenthood.
That could mean thousands of Texans without preventative healthcare.
Sexual health care, reproductive education and information on how to prevent pregnancies are all offered to both men and women at Planned Parenthood.
The organization charges as low a cost as possible for services, but that could soon change.
"For many people, it's going to mean to go without especially the birth control. They're likely to go without," said Kathryn Hearn, Community Services Director of Planned Parenthood.
State budget cuts are taking aim at Planned Parenthood with the Texas house approving a budget to redirect family planning funds to other programs.
"Here locally we know that at least 16 thousand people are going to lose those kind of services, so they will no longer be able to get low or no cost birth control or testing and treatment for STDs," said Hearn.
Instead, the funding will go to programs like early childhood intervention and services for autistic children.
"Good programs...necessary programs, but it is not about saving money to cut this family planning it is about extremists who don't believe in the birth control program or are perhaps confused about what the family planning program covers," said Hearn.
Those in favor of the cuts said Planned Parenthood uses money from the grants for the abortion industry.
Hearn said that's not true.
"It's been a longstanding law both in the state and federal government that family planning cannot pay for abortions," said Hearn.
Kathryn Hearn with Planned Parenthood said that the number of clients have increased over 40 percent over the past three years, and if cuts are made those clients wont have anywhere else to go.
"They're scared like where are they going to go, so it's going to be difficult for them to find a place where they don't get charge for any of those services," said Monica Hernandez, a practitioner at Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood is crossing their fingers that senators will rethink the cuts the house approved.
They have started a campaign calling on their patients to let legislators know how they feel about the cuts, so far over one thousand patients have written letters to defend the funds.