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Planned Parenthood Urges Gov. Schwarzenegger to Rescind Harmful Budget Cuts to Women's Health Care

Critics launch misleading campaign

NEW YORK, May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Planned Parenthood Federation of America is urging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to rescind his proposal to cut $36 million in family planning funds from the state budget. These cuts would put preventive health care and family planning at risk for countless women in California.

"As a health care provider to more than 700,000 women in California, Planned Parenthood is on the frontline in ensuring that those in need receive essential health care," said Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "Ninety-seven percent of the health care we provide is preventive, including breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraception, STD testing and treatment and in some cases, primary care. Our goal is to keep women healthy and reduce the alarming number of unintended pregnancies, including among our teens. These budget cuts will jeopardize our ability to provide essential health care."

California's Planned Parenthood health centers are an entry point into the health care system for hundreds of thousands of women and families, and often times their main source of health care. For 60 percent of our patients, we are their primary care provider. Moreover, as a result of the economic downturn more women and families are seeking care at Planned Parenthood because they've lost their job and health insurance. With an estimated 14,000 Americans losing health coverage every day, assuring access to essential women's health care is more important than ever.

In the last eight months, California's Planned Parenthood health centers have seen an increase of nearly 70,000 patient visits for preventive or primary care.

Investing in preventive care actually saves the state money in the short and the long run. FamilyPACT, a family planning program which serves as a model for the nation, is essential care for more than 1.6 million women in California and has saved the state more than $2 billion since its inception. Studies show that for every $1 invested in family planning, $5.33 is saved in future medical and social service costs associated with unintended pregnancy.

"Now more than ever, we must invest in preventive care. It's not only the right thing to do; it's good public policy and smart fiscal policy," said Richards. "Unfortunately, there has been an attempt to distort the facts about the impact these budget cuts will have and how funds are being used. Let me be clear: family planning money does not fund abortions- the proposed cuts will prevent access to critical preventive care, putting women's health at risk."

Critics of Planned Parenthood have launched a misleading campaign attacking Planned Parenthood and distorting the facts. Below is a brief fact check that corrects the false attacks against Planned Parenthood and the preventive health care that is provided to more than 700,000 Californian women every year.

FICTION: Gov. Schwarzenegger is proposing cuts to state monies which pay for abortions.

FACT: NONE of the money Gov. Schwarzenegger is proposing to cut is used for abortion. He is proposing to cut family planning funds, which pay for preventive health care, such as cancer screenings, contraception, and STD testing and treatment. In addition, family planning is 90% funded by the federal government. Cutting family planning would mean a significant loss of federal dollars for vital health services.

FICTION: The increase in patients at California's Planned Parenthood health centers is because more women are seeking abortions.

FACT: California's Planned Parenthood health centers are seeing more patients because they are losing their jobs and health insurance and need access to preventive care, such as contraception, ob/gyn checkups, cancer screenings and Pap tests. Continued funding of family planning will help ensure that women who have lost their jobs or their insurance have access to essential, preventive health care.

FICTION: Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposed budget cuts will save the state money.

FACT: The budget cuts that Gov. Schwarzenegger is proposing will actually cost the state money. Family planning services are 90 percent funded by the federal government. Cutting family planning would mean a significant loss of federal dollars. In addition, cuts would mean more unintended pregnancies, more incidences of STDs and infertility, and increased health care costs to the state.

SOURCE Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
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