We are at war.
American women are fighting to retain the right to govern our bodies, to own our sexuality and to have access to good and affordable reproductive health care. It is no surprise that Planned Parenthood is under attack, too. Conservative legislatures in several states, including my home state of Indiana, have voted to defund the organization:
A tough state anti-abortion law cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana went into effect May 10, and since then the health provider has relied on donations to keep its doors open and continue serving its 9,300 Medicaid patients.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana typically receives about $1.3 million a year in Medicaid funds, which is about 10 percent of its total budget. The law would also strip the health provider of roughly $150,000 in sexually transmitted disease prevention funding. Read more......because the intervention of “big government” is abhorrent when used to guarantee health care to all Americans, but more than acceptable when used to advance ideological opposition to legal medical services. Right.
What is at stake?
- According to the Planned Parenthood of Indiana website, “all Medicaid patients will need to pay for their own care or access other funding to be seen at Planned Parenthood of Indiana health centers.”
- According to the Indianapolis Star, Planned Parenthood of Indiana has been forced to lay off two sexually transmitted disease prevention specialists, and had to close each of its health centers for one day on June 22.
- Also from the Star, “A total of 85,000 Hoosiers receive services at Planned Parenthood of Indiana's 28 health centers. If the law is allowed to stand, Planned Parenthood will have to close eight centers that serve low-income patients at two Indianapolis locations, as well as in Bedford, Hammond, Michigan City, New Albany, Terre Haute and Muncie.”
These diminishing services disproportionately impact women and men who can ill afford it--the poor and marginalized. Last year, the organization performed more than 26,000 pap tests, nearly 30,000 breast exams for clients, more than 50 percent of whom were at or below the poverty level.
Watch Planned Parenthood of Indiana president Betty Cockrum on The Rachel Maddow Show:
I know this is bad. I know, because there is no other organization in my state dedicated to Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s mission--to provide comprehensive reproductive health care – confidentially, compassionately, affordably; to protect through prevention – educating honestly and accurately; to support those who need us most – without bias or judgment, without fear, without fail. I know, because I am among the millions of women (and men) who have relied on services from Planned Parenthood of Indiana since it began in 1932.
We know the truth about Planned Parenthood. We know how important this organization is in the lives of the people it serves. We are those people. We have stories. On Thursday, July 7, we will share them.