When I was 23 years old, Planned Parenthood saved my life. I had just graduated from college and was starting my career. My job did not provide health care coverage and I had only enough income for the basics. This did not include health care insurance. During a regular annual exam, I was found to have early stage cervical cancer. I would never have had that exam, the diagnosis or the later treatment except for the low-cost care available through Planned Parenthood.
I think it is sometimes forgotten that Planned Parenthood provides not just family planning but also basic health care and pre-natal care for women. Defunding Planned Parenthood at any level will jeopardize the 700 clinics across the country that often operate in rural and medically underserved areas. The proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act will cut Planned Parenthood funding. This is not acceptable.
This is not about abortion. Remember, since the Hyde Amendment in 1977 it has been illegal to spend federal funds on abortion services except in the case of rape or incest or if the mother’s health is endangered. This is about available health care for women. Let Sen. Lisa Murkowski (202-224-6665) know that you are behind her in her support of Planned Parenthood. Let Sen. Dan Sullivan know (202-224-3004) you hope he supports women too.
• Stern is a retired artist, community gardener and Tenakee resident for 17 years.