January 17, 2017

ICYMI: Seacoast Online Editorial: “Defunding Planned Parenthood Endangers Women and Children”

ICYMI: Seacoast Online Editorial: "Defunding Planned Parenthood Endangers Women and Children"

New Hampshire Community Health Centers Also Highlight Harmful Consequences of Defunding Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON - On Sunday, Seacoast Online published an editorial, "Defunding Planned Parenthood Endangers Women and Children," highlighting the dangerous impact defunding Planned Parenthood would have on the health and well-being of thousands of women and families if Republican leaders in Washington go through with their plan to defund Planned Parenthood as part of their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

In addition, New Hampshire community health centers spoke out this weekend against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, stating, "things would get rather desperate," for women and families across the Granite State and that most community health centers would not be able to pick up the large patient volume if Planned Parenthood is defunded.

See below for highlights of coverage:

Seacoast Online Editorial: Defunding Planned Parenthood Endangers Women and Children

Defunding Planned Parenthood endangers the health of millions of low-income women and children in this country and if Congressional Republicans go through with it, they should be held accountable for every person hurt by their action.

...Planned Parenthood provides quality health care to women and children (and a small percentage of men) who often have no place else to turn. Planned Parenthood served a total of 2.7 million individuals in 2014, according to factcheck.org.

...Defunding Planned Parenthood will not only make abortions more dangerous, it will also deny vital medical care to millions of women and children.

...Planned Parenthood takes care of many of the most vulnerable women and children in our nation and for that it deserves our gratitude, not threats of defunding.

Seacoast Online: What Happens if Planned Parenthood is Defunded?

With the latest Republican efforts in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, thousands of Granite Staters living on the financial edge could be subject to losing access to the nonprofit's health care services.

...If defunded, Planned Parenthood patients on Medicaid would need to find alternatives for women's health care. Advocates worry the barriers created by a loss of funding would ultimately affect patients' accessibility to care.

Linda Griebsch, executive director at the Joan G. Lovering Health Center in Greenland, said they are one of three alternatives in the state that performs abortions, and the only one within 50 miles. When Planned Parenthood's funding is threatened, often theirs is too.

"I would say that most of the community health centers will tell you that they are not going to be able to pick up that huge patient volume (if Planned Parenthood is defunded), certainly not in the short-term and possibly not in the long-term," Griebsch said.

..."If Planned Parenthood lost funding, "Things would get rather desperate, I believe," Griebsch said. "We'd definitely see an increase in unintended pregnancies. We may see an increase in people who try to self-abort or resort to desperate measures."

...Families First Health and Support Center is based in Portsmouth, assisting many Seacoast communities. Executive Director Helen Taft said they would be concerned if Planned Parenthood lost federal funding.

"Families First and Planned Parenthood have been a very important part of the safety net health care system in the Seacoast area for many years," Taft said. "We support their funding as a place people may go to meet their primary and preventive health care needs, and are concerned that the loss of their services could reduce access to health care in the communities where they are located."

...U.S. Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen put out a call-to-action on Jan. 9 at the Exeter Planned Parenthood, asking New Hampshire's women to stand up for health care rights and contact their elected delegates, including Gov. Chris Sununu, who Shaheen said "has a mixed record" on the issue.