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Capps Decries GOP Legislation to Defund Planned Parenthood of Tri-Counties

The measure would eliminate all Title X funding

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, condemned on Tuesday the attempt by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives to defund Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura & San Luis Obispo Counties.

The Republican temporary spending bill would completely defund Title X of the Social Security Act, which provides federal grants for the purposes of providing individuals with family planning and related preventive health services. None of those funds pay for abortion. Any abortion care provided at a clinic that receives Title X funds can’t and is not paid for with federal monies.

While the Republican-drafted funding measure zeros out all Title X funding, an amendment to the spending bill offered by Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ill., would cut off all federal funding to Planned Parenthood-related clinics, including Planned Parenthood of the Tri-Counties.

The proposal by Republicans to defund Title X clinics would deny 5 million American women preventive care, including annual wellness exams, lifesaving cancer screenings, contraceptive services, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

In 2008, Planned Parenthood of the Tri-Counties served more than 31,000 patients. Ninety 5 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood of the Tri-Counties are services covered by Title X, including contraceptive services, pregnancy tests, cervical cancer screenings, and STI screening and treatment.

Ironically, the policy would actually increase the deficit by increasing the number of unwanted pregnancies and ending preventive health screenings to millions of women, which could lead to more women getting sick, being diagnosed late and needing treatment that is more costly and invasive. A May 2010 study from the Guttmacher Institute demonstrates that for every $1 invested in family planning services, the American taxpayer saves $4 by helping women avoid unwanted pregnancies and plan how many children they want to have and when to have them.

“Planned Parenthood of the Tri-Counties is an exemplary organization that provides critical health services to thousands of low-income women on the Central Coast. The Republican majority’s assault on women’s health would have serious consequences for women in California,” Capps said. “If we really want to reduce the need for abortions and reduce the federal deficit, we should double the funding for family planning and preventive care, not eliminate it as is being called for by anti-choice members of Congress.

“Studies have shown that such an investment could reduce unplanned pregnancies, prevent treatable diseases like cervical cancer and save taxpayers nearly $2 billion per year. While we all agree about the need to reduce wasteful spending, eliminating a successful program that saves the taxpayer money and provides critical health care services to our mothers, sisters, and friends is just a bad idea.

“Instead of punishing the women who rely on the wide range of women’s health services provided by Title X clinics, Congress should be focused on jobs. We should be focused on supporting American families by creating jobs for the millions of mothers out of work. Instead, the majority party is intent on pushing legislation that would hinder millions of women from receiving basic health care services. I urge the Republican leadership to abandon this divisive effort and finally turn its focus to the issue of job creation.”

On Tuesday morning, Capps participated in a news conference with Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to speak against the elimination of Title X funding.

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

 
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