Warminster, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf and Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards hosted a roundtable discussion with patients and community providers about the devastating effects federal budget cuts to Planned Parenthood would have for people in Bucks County and across the state.
Governor Wolf and Ms. Richards were joined by Planned Parenthood patients and Bucks County community leaders Tam St. Claire, president, Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition; and Sally Fabian-Oresic, executive director, Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic.
“Attacks on women’s health at both federal and state levels are nothing more than politicians inserting themselves between doctors and their patients,” Wolf said. “The attacks on women’s reproductive health care and organizations such as Planned Parenthood put women, especially in rural and underserved communities, at risk of having extremely limited access to essential health services.
“Conversations like the one today deliver a message to our legislators that they should be focused on fixing our schools, getting people back to work, and solving the opioid and heroin crisis, not making it harder for women to access critical health and wellness services.”
In Bucks and four other Pennsylvania counties, Planned Parenthood is the only safety net provider of family planning services.
“We’re here in Bucks County with two of Planned Parenthood’s over 90,000 Pennsylvania patients to talk about what is really at stake when politicians talk about blocking access to care at Planned Parenthood,” Richards said. “For many, Planned Parenthood is their only health care provider and they would have nowhere else to go. We’ve made incredible progress in women’s health care. We’re at a historic low in teen pregnancy, and a 30-year low in unintended pregnancy — thanks to better access to family planning and information. We know it works. And we know what doesn’t work: making it harder for women to access that care.”
In addition to devastating consequences to health care services, Governor Wolf reminded those in attendance that funding cuts also have other negative effects.
“No funding for Planned Parenthood will have a dramatic impact on Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program,” Wolf said. “Unintended pregnancies will increase and reproductive health services will need to be covered. These have real costs attached to them that the state will have to bear.”
When Texas eliminated Planned Parenthood from its family planning program, researchers found a 27 percent increase in births to women previously on an injectable contraception, and pregnancy-related deaths doubled.
Read Governor Wolf’s recent statement on protecting women’s health services.