No matter where you fall as it relates to abortion, young people and access to sexual health, or introducing contraception to young folks you have to know that there will be serious consequences for decreasing funding for Planned Parenthood’s work. The bottom line is that less money for Planned Parenthood will mean less access for the underserved and often forgotten….those usually without healthcare or a primary physician. What this impact could look like…..only time will tell. Check out what Lori Adelman from The Grio.com thinks about it below and then weigh in with your thoughts.
In Ms. Williams’* health class at a South Central Los Angeles high school, the students were full of questions.
“Where can I get checked out if I don’t have a lot of money?”
“Do those birth control pills my sister bought off the street corner really work?”
“Should I be nervous about the quality of care I’ll receive at the local clinic?”
Ms. Williams’ students reflect the mindset and situation of many Planned Parenthood clients: They understand the importance of “getting checked out”, but are often living in poverty, uninsured, or under-informed about where to obtain health services. And many of them are women and men of color. In 2009, 15 percent of Planned Parenthood clients were black. That’s more than 400,000 people. The number of black patients has been steadily increasing in recent years, with the number of black men visiting Planned Parenthood clinics increasing by a whopping 225 percent over the past 9 years.
Such are the inadvertent casualties of last Friday’s Republican-led attack on Planned Parenthood. In a measure known as the Pence Amendment (named for its sponsor congressman Mike Pence), the organization would be prohibited from receiving federal funds for any of its activities. The Pence Amendment was approved 240-185.
If the resolution is allowed to go into law as is, the nation’s most trusted name in sexual and reproductive health care will lose government support to provide family planning, contraception, lifesaving cancer screenings, annual medical exams, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections to millions of Americans.
Such a budget cut would trickle down to Planned Parenthood’s more than 820 local health centers nationwide and have devastating consequences for people like Ms. Williams’ students, who have few health care options, are predominantly black, and rely on the services of local clinics for access to high-quality and low-cost sexual and reproductive care.
As Ms. Williams sees it, the government is moving in the wrong direction by voting to defund the beloved health care organization. “We don’t need the government to be taking away funding from these clinics; if anything we need to be strengthening and increasing their efforts,” she stated. “Especially in the black community, we need more information and services because there is so much unmet need.”
The “unmet need” Williams refers to is real. According to a recent Hart Research survey, 54 percent of African-American women ages 18-34 have experienced difficulty purchasing birth control and using it consistently because it was too expensive. And African-American women have almost three times the unintended pregnancy rate of white women.
It’s obvious that our community can’t afford to have our services cut back now.
B Intentional Family, weigh in on this. Do you think cutting back Planned Parenthood’s funding will cut off critical healthcare options for black folks the most and do you think that it’s a sacrifice that needs to be made or will it make the issues worse?
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