Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Dec 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

To Fund or Not to Fund

news_plannedPlanned Parenthood, the Pence Amendment, and pro-life prayers
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM) services 29 counties in California and 13 in Nevada, and sees more than 250,000 patients each year. Annually, there are around 24,000 visits to the Santa Cruz location and 16,600 to the Watsonville clinic.

But, according to Fran Linkin, associate director of Public Affairs for PPMM, these figures are “on the low end,” and the clinics have an increasing patient load because of the downturned economy. “We’ve been seeing more and more people as people lose their insurance, or lose their jobs,” she says. “People are really turning to us when they don’t know where to go.”

Linkin says that the most common services sought at Planned Parenthood clinics are “basic reproductive healthcare services, such as contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, STD screenings and treatments, pregnancy testing, HIV testing and UTI testing and treatments.” These services, known as preventive healthcare, along with primary child and adult healthcare, prenatal care, and LGBT services, make up 97 percent of what Planned Parenthoods do. But it is the remaining three percent that gets the most attention and criticism: abortions.

In mid-February, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) successfully added The Pence Amendment to the House of Representative’s measure to fund the government through September in lieu of a passed budget. The amendment, which passed by a vote of 240 to 185, would discontinue all funding for Planned Parenthoods and other Title X health clinics. Although federal monies are already barred from funding abortions because of the Hyde Amendment, Pence, and others like him, are against giving any funding to organizations that also offer abortion services.

The amendment isn’t anticipated to go much further than the House: the Democratically led Senate isn’t expected to go for it, and President Barack Obama has said he wouldn’t sign it even if they did. However, the House’s support for such legislation has reignited a national discussion of Planned Parenthood’s place in our country.

Among the Pence Amendment’s supporters is the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), a national group of pro-life women. Their president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, stated in a Feb. 18 press release that, “Ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is a non-negotiable … This is a black and white issue and we will accept nothing less than the total defunding of Planned Parenthood in the Continuing Resolution.” SBA has gathered 40,000 signatures on their petition “Stop Funding Abortions.”

Planned Parenthood’s own petition, a letter to congress titled  “I Stand With Planned Parenthood,” has more than 700,000 signatures, and is shooting for one million. Linkin says that support for Planned Parenthood is at a high, from the petition signatures, to the Walk for Choice events that were held across the country on Feb. 26, including one here in Santa Cruz, and a spike in social media interest. “We saw a big upsurge on social media,” she says. “[People are] becoming friends or fans of Planned Parenthood on Facebook who hadn’t been previously involved.”

But in addition to this fresh support, the amendment has also caused regional chapters like PPMM to consider what would happen if their federal funding was, hypothetically, terminated.

PPMM receives 58 percent of its funding from the state’s Family Pact program and the federal government’s matching of those funds, 20 percent from Medi-Cal funding and the rest from a combination of contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations, and patient fees from those who can afford them.

While PPMM would fight to continue providing their services, Linkin says it would be challenging without federal funding. “I can’t say without certainty that we wouldn’t have to reduce the amount of people we could see or the services we’d offer,” she says. She estimates that one-fourth of PPMM’s patients—around 65,000 people—would lose services, noting that health centers in poorer areas will be most impacted, because there is very little “private pay” from patients to help keep the centers afloat.

She adds, “I find it baffling that people who are opposed to the right to safe and legal abortion are aiming to cut programs that prevent and reduce the need for abortions.”

Adding to the heated national debate, the 40 Days For Life campaign began its second 40-day-long prayer vigil outside of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country on Wednesday, March 9. However, Santa Cruz 40 Day For Life volunteer Jeff, who wishes to use only his first name, says that their effort is not associated with the push to axe the organization’s federal funding. ““The Pence Amendment and our local prayer vigil are mutually exclusive,” he says. “We are here to pray and let people know there are abortion alternatives in place locally.” Jeff and other pro-life advocates will be hunkered down near the entrance of the Downtown Santa Cruz Planned Parenthood until April 17.

The peaceful, prayer-centered action comes at a time when Planned Parenthood and its supporters also face what they feel are more far-reaching, legislative strikes. “I think we definitely have seen a much more extreme ideological push, and it really has been an attack on women’s health,” says Linkin.


For more information about Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, or to learn how to donate, visit ppmarmonte.org, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire