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Planned Parenthood: Defunding Could Impact 15,000 Low-Income New Mexicans

Planned Parenthood provides cancer screenings, well-women health exams and other health services for thousands of low-income women in New Mexico. Courtesy: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Planned Parenthood provides cancer screenings, well-women health exams and other health services for thousands of low-income women in New Mexico. Courtesy: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
August 3, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Efforts in Congress to end funding for Planned Parenthood could end access to cancer screenings, well-women health exams, contraception and other health services for thousands of low-income women in New Mexico.

That's according to Cathy Alderman, vice president for public affairs with Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico. She says the biggest impact would be on women who can get care at Planned Parenthood through Medicaid, which Republicans in Congress want eliminated.

"When we're talking about defunding Planned Parenthood to the extreme that these politicians are talking about, the intent is to shut Planned Parenthood down and prevent us from being able to provide services, except for people who have insurance or who want to pay out of pocket."

Republicans in Congress are leading efforts 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. Alderman says the videos are completely false and politically motivated.

She says Planned Parenthood does not sell fetal tissue, but has been openly involved in voluntary fetal donation programs for decades. Alderman says the tissue samples are used for medical research.

"Tissue donation is used all across the country, in all fields of medicine to contribute to life-saving medical breakthroughs that cure diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's," says Alderman. "The research can lead to ways in which to help women have healthier pregnancies and to reduce premature births."

President Obama and congressional Democrats are vowing to block Republican-led efforts to kill Planned Parenthood funding. Meanwhile, Alderman says in a recent year Planned Parenthood had 2.7 million patients and provided nearly 400,000 pap tests, and a half million breast exams.

Lori Abbott/Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM