Just. . . Sigh

30 Apr

I wrote my political officials about Planned Parenthood funding, and here’s what I got back:

Dear Laurel,

Thank you for contacting me regarding funding for Planned Parenthood. It is an honor to represent the people of Eastern Washington and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

I do not believe that federal funds should go to Planned Parenthood. Last year, U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) did a study revealing that the federal government’s support for Planned Parenthood has reached billions, a large percentage of which go to family planning services. In 2009, according to Planned Parenthood’s own records, 332,278 abortions were performed. This is unacceptable. The GAO study and Planned Parenthood’s statistics demonstrate that in the last several years, focus has not been on the needs of the county. We need to focus on jobs, balancing the budget, and our national debt. To that end, I supported efforts to eliminate federal funds to Planned Parenthood.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. As your Representative in Congress, I am committed to putting the best interests of Eastern Washington first. I invite you to visit my website at www.mcmorrisrodgers.house.gov for additional information or to sign up for my e-newsletter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Best Wishes,

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Member of Congress

My response:

Dear Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers,
Thank you for you last e-mail, I appreciate the time you took to share your thought process with me.  Though I am thankful that you shared your rationale, I feel like your logic for the ‘no’ vote was in error.  Here’s why:
Increasing access to family planning services and maintaining current levels of funding for family planning is just plain smart budgeting. For every $1 million cut from family planning, it costs over $4.1 million for new unintended pregnancy care, starting right away.  SB 5912 increases income eligibility for the Take Charge Medicaid family planning program from 200% to 250% of the federal poverty level, finally creating parity between the women whose pregnancy care we pay for through Medicaid and the women who are covered for family planning services!   This bill is simple and common sense, overall it saves money during these difficult economic times by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies that our state pays for.
Not only is funding family planning one of the smartest fiscal decisions we can make with regard to our state budget–especially in times of economic crisis–but family planning prevents unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.  Cutting family planning simply doesn’t add up; the 2.25 million dollar cut in the Senate budget to Department of Health family planning funds will result in over 9 million in new unintended pregnancy care costs this biennium, starting right away.
It is clear that the cut proposed by the Senate budget will cost much more than it saves in this same biennium.  Thousands of women and families will likely go without services, and such a cut would mean an increase in unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.
I sincerely hope you can look at the facts and see why Planned Parenthood is a necessity whether you believe in abortion or not.  By the way–the rare abortions that are provided by P.P, are not paid for with federal funding, BUT the easily accessible sexual education, affordable women’s health services (cancer screenings, physicals, and STD testing), and birth control which reduces unwanted pregnancies are.

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