Friday, April 15, 2011

MWPC Celebrates the Preservation of Title X & Funding for Planned Parenthood

Yesterday’s Congressional vote to preserve funding to Planned Parenthood and other family planning programs marked a critical affirmation of the rights of women across the nation.

The measure passed the House but failed in the Senate in a vote 58-42. Had this measure passed, low-income and uninsured women would have been denied access to crucial affordable services, such as HIV and STD tests, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and contraception. Furthermore, elimination of Title X funding would have cost the government $3.4 billion a year in other expenses; it would not have saved the government money or diminished the deficit.

As a nonpartisan organization dedicated to the rights of women, it was extremely alarming to us to witness the amount of mistruths that were incorporated into the rhetoric surrounding this debate. It is quite clear that this was not an issue of budget balancing but rather the promotion of political agendas. We applaud the dedicated efforts of all those who worked to promote the facts in this struggle – your work was crucial to the outcome of that vote.

We also want to extend our sincere gratitude to those members of the MA delegation who voted to preserve Title X funding, particularly those who were committed to its preservation all along. We would specifically like to thank Senator John Kerry, Representative Niki Tsongas and Representative Michael Capuano, who have been very outspoken on this issue.

This vote sends a very clear message to our Nation’s leaders: political battles cannot and will not be fought at the expense of the health, well-being, and fundamental rights of women. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MWPC Stands with Planned Parenthood. Do You?

As an organization devoted to the rights and equality of women, the MA Women’s Political Caucus is shocked and appalled at the recent assault on Planned Parenthood and Title X by certain members of Congress and political commentators who are using this opportunity to push a political agenda. This fight is not about budget balancing. The health and well-being of millions of American women are being compromised for political gain. One of the most disturbing developments arising from this fight are the false assertions being propagated by those who are opposed to Planned Parenthood. Contrary to those assertions, Planned Parenthood provides essential services that benefit millions of women.

MWPC sets the record straight and calls you to action to preserve the rights and health of American women and their families.

Assertion:           Government money is being used by Planned Parenthood to fund abortions.
Fact:                   The majority of what Planned Parenthood provides are medical screenings and procedures critical to the health and well-being of women as well as men. Those services include testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, screenings for cervical and breast cancer, routine gynecological exams, HPV vaccines, contraceptives, and prescription of birth control medications. Cutting these services would dramatically increase the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions and cost the federal government billions of dollars more in other social services annually.

Assertion:           “Only hookers go to Planned Parenthood.” -  Glenn Beck
Fact:                    In Massachusetts in 2009, Planned Parenthood provided services to 69, 654 patients, of which 87% were women and 13% were men. Of those MA patients, 96% were well below the federal poverty level and earned less than $27,000 annually. Without the free and low-cost services provided by Planned Parenthood, these patients would not be able to receive the treatment and care they need.

Assertion:           Cutting Title X funding would save the federal government money.
Fact:                    For every dollar spent on family planning programs, the government saves $4 on other social services. In light of this, it is categorically untrue to state that cutting Title X funding for Planned Parenthood would save the federal government money. On the contrary, cutting Title X funding would actually cost the government money. For example, in 2008 Title X funded contraceptive programs helped America women avoid 973,000 unintended pregnancies of which 432, 600 would have resulted in unintended births and 406, 200 abortions. Avoiding these unintended pregnancies saved the federal government approximately $5.1 billion.

Title X programs provide critical services, such as contraception, cancer screenings, and STD testing, to over 5 million American women a year. Funding cuts to Planned Parenthood would have disproportionate adverse effects on low income women who depend on Planned Parenthood to receive critical medical care and treatment. To cut that funding, partially or completely, would leave millions of American women without reproductive healthcare. This is not a social issue; it is a human issue.  

We at the MWPC stand with Planned Parenthood and urge you to contact your elected officials to tell them that you stand with Planned Parenthood and ask that they do too.