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Federal Health Funding Helps Thousands of Low-income Women in Arizona

Thousand of Arizona women benefit from federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which Republicans in Congress are vying to end. Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thousand of Arizona women benefit from federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which Republicans in Congress are vying to end. Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
August 6, 2015

PHOENIX - Ending federal funding that benefits Planned Parenthood, county health departments and other health-care providers would directly impact thousands of low-income women in Arizona. That's according to Bryan Howard, CEO with Planned Parenthood Arizona.

He says federal money from Medicaid and another program called Title X (ten) pays for cancer screenings, well-women health exams, contraception and other health services for thousands of women living at or below the federal poverty level.

"By definition, we're talking about women, young women, who are either completing their educations or getting their first jobs," says Howard. "Eliminating access to this health care is very likely to interrupt their progress in becoming independent and self-sufficient."

Republicans in Congress have thus far failed to kill more than $500 million in annual funding for Planned Parenthood. The action follows the release of videos which allegedly show Planned Parenthood staff members involved in the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood officials say the videos are completely false and that the organization does not sell fetal tissue.

Brenda Thomas is CEO with the Arizona Family Health Partnership, which distributes more than $4 million in Title X funding each year to several organizations including Planned Parenthood. She says the impact of cutting funding would reach far beyond Planned Parenthood.

"In that grant we have six delegates," she says. "Those six delegates include county health departments, nonprofits and/or federally qualified community health centers."

Thomas adds Title X funding in Arizona benefits county health departments in Pima, Pinal, and Yavapai counties, as well as the Navajo Nation. On a national level, Planned Parenthood reports that in a recent year it treated 2.7 million patients and provided nearly 400,000 pap tests, and a half million breast exams.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ