Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Planned Parenthood--I've Been Wondering About Them

I received this information via a forwarded email from Lynn Gordon, League of Women Voters (who is not on the PP Board)

"In Virginia, there are nine Planned Parenthood health centers, operated by four Planned Parenthood affiliates. Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. Our mission is to ensure that individuals and families have the freedom, information, and ability to make their own informed reproductive choices.



Senate Bill 30 - Budget Amendment Offered by Sen. Cuccinelli Senator
Cuccinelli's amendment would prohibit any Planned Parenthood entity from receiving state general fund, nongeneral fund, or special funds for preventative medical services. The language would prohibit the free access of women, particularly Medicaid recipients, from taking advantage of the necessary and critical medical services Planned Parenthood offers. Cuccinelli's amendment is unconstitutional because it singles out a specific entity, Planned Parenthood, for punishment by disqualification for eligibility for funding.

The core of Planned Parenthood affiliate medical service is contraception and accompanying health care, education, and information. The overwhelming majority of Planned Parenthood services focus on prevention.

  • Family Planning Counseling and Services
  • Free Pregnancy Testing and Options Education
  • Low Cost Birth Control
  • Emergency Contraception
  • Annual Gynecological Exam
  • Cancer screenings: Pap Smear, Breast Exams (Health services, cont'd
  • Colposcopy and Cryotherapy
  • HPV Vaccination
  • Testing and Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections (women and men
  • HIV Testing (women and men
  • Safe and confidential first trimester abortions
  • Adoption through a partnership with the Children's Home Society of Virginia
  • Prenatal CareEducation ProgramsPlanned Parenthood education programs cover many content areas, such as AIDS/HIV, contraception/family planning - including abstinence, family life education, parent-child communication, puberty education, safer sex, sexual orientation/homophobia, sexuality education, sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy, and women's health.
In addition to education programs, training programs are provided to community agencies and professionals working with children, teens, and young adults.
  • Postponing Sexual Involvement is an abstinence-based program emphasizing communication skills, decision making and peer pressure refusal skills.
  • Becoming a Responsible Teen encourages the understanding of sexual development, feelings and values as well as ways to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
  • The Brothers is a mentoring program that pairs valuable male role models with 5th grade boys to help them make healthy choices and set future goals
  • More than Shelter pairs free clinic services for homeless women with educational programming on gynecological care, sexually transmitted infections and healthy relationships.
OPPOSE - House Bill 30 - Budget Amendment Item 4-5.04#1h
This budget amendment would prevent the most vulnerable women in Virginia from accessing medically-necessary abortion care.
Medicaid would still have to treat the serious health problem that resulted from not having access to abortion care.
Situations of severe, incapacitating fetal abnormality are tragic. The decision to terminate a non-viable pregnancy should be left to a woman, in consultation with her family and physician.
This budget amendment would further restrict Medicaid funding for abortions to circumstances when the woman's life is at risk, or the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. It prohibits funding for women who have serious health risks or a non-viable pregnancy.
Currently, Virginia permits Medicaid coverage of abortions for these reasons, as required by federal law:
  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Life of woman
Additionally, Virginia allows Medicaid coverage of abortions for two circumstances beyond federal law:
  • Substantial endangerment to the health of the woman
  • Severe, incapacitating fetal abnormality."
Information Courtesy of
Jessica L. Honke, MSW
Director of Public Policy
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia
3415 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23221
804.355.4358 ext. 16
804-355.5216 Fax

Here's what I have been thinking.

First, I don't think it's right that PP has been singled out. To me, that says someone in Richmond has an ax to grind and a personal agenda.

Second, I would like to see PP and organizations like theirs come up with a plan and a goal to reduce referrals for abortions/abortions by 10% in two years. That would mean they re-direct two out of every 200 women over a two year period in addition to re-directs they already do. (Is that too many two's?) This adds up to THOUSANDS more abortions avoided.

An additional 1% reduction would be a goal for each consecutive year.

In this way, we slowly eradicate the need for abortion except in absolute emergencies by education, prevention, adoption, etc. And places like PP improve their public image which has largely come to equal "baby killers."

Just my two cents.

NOTE: I am not associated with Planned Parenthood.
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