FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristen Day
August 8, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC – Democrats For Life of America encourages supportive outreach to patients who believe that they may lose access to health care services if Planned Parenthood closes its doors. Since the Center for Medical Progress released its videos of Planned Parenthood officials allegedly haggling over payments for body parts of aborted babies, three states have withdrawn funding for the organization.
"We are concerned about the perception that there are no other health care facilities to address the needs of Planned Parenthood patients should it choose to shut its doors," said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America. "We support the transfer of funds to facilities that do not perform abortions, so now we must facilitate the transfer of patients."
DFLA is urging state and local governments to provide a list of alternative facilities that take Medicaid patients or offer free or reduced-price health care. In Louisiana, there are two Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, one in New Orleans and the other in Baton Rouge, yet there are more than twenty Community Health Centers in New Orleans and almost ten in Baton Rouge that offer full-service health care for families. Alabama’s Planned Parenthood clinics are similarly located in urban areas, Birmingham and Mobile, where numerous community clinics would be able to supply full-service health care. In New Hampshire, there are five Planned Parenthood clinics that would be affected.
"As supporters of the Affordable Care Act, we would like to see more Americans have access to health care, not fewer. That is why we should be vigilant in ensuring that families have access to information about available alternatives," said Day. "We call on any governor who defunds Planned Parenthood to also support the health care needs of women and families."
Nationwide, there are more than 9,000 Community Health Centers and fewer than 700 Planned Parenthood clinics. The Community Health Centers serve more than 21 million people per year and provide a full array of health care services. Also, they received $11 billion under the ACA to prepare for an expected increase in the number of patients, so they should be able to handle the load.
"While we applaud efforts to deny governmental funding of Planned Parenthood for its role in providing abortions,” said Day, "we urge any state that is considering defunding Planned Parenthood to re-channel those funds to desperately needed health care for at-risk women and infants. Cutting funds would harm families, but re-channeling funds, coupled with informational outreach on alternatives, may result in more families served."