Purchase Stands With Planned Parenthood

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 Many Purchase students are distressed about a proposed amendment that would cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood. On campus and off, they’re passionately fighting back.  
 
On February 18, The US House of Representatives passed the Pence Amendment with a vote of 240-185. The amendment, proposed by Republican Rep.  Mike Pence of Indiana, threatens to cut off all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. President Obama has said he plans to veto the measure if the Senate passes it.  
 
Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, which includes the Planned Parenthood affiliates closest to Purchase, is no exception to the risk Pence poses. Reina Schiffrin, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic's  CEO, fears the repercussions that this amendment would have on the health of women in our community.
 
“Under this proposal, 48 percent of Planned Parenthood patients, approximately 1.4 million people, would be cut off from their source of health care,” Schiffrin said in a press release.
 
The health care provided includes lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, affordable birth control, HIV testing, and testing and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections.
 
The centers provide care to over 35,000 patients each year, and about 57% of patients are ages 20 to 29. Almost all of the centers’ services are also preventative treatments.
 
Title X, part of the Public Health Service Act, has been around for more than thirty years and is the only federal program dedicated solely to funding family planning and related reproductive health care services.Despite what some conservatives believe, Planned Parenthood cannot utilize any federal funding for abortion as a result of the Hyde Amendment.   

 
In addition, Schiffrin points out the fiscal irresponsibility the amendment presents. “Family planning programs like Title X save money.  For every public dollar invested in family planning, taxpayers save nearly $4,” she said.
 
In response to the House passing Pence, Tamara Brown, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic’s campus coordinator, along with Arielle Cohen, a leader of the new campus organization Feminist Organizing Real Transformation Here, arranged for students to attend a Planned Parenthood rally on Saturday, Feb. 26 in Manhattan’s Foley Square.
 
“There was a huge turnout,” said Cohen. “A lot of people went down on their own.” Purchase students carried signs that read, “I stand with Planned Parenthood” as well as “No raging Boehner can stop me!”
 
Cohen commented on the importance of Planned Parenthood and the services it provides as, “For our income bracket, as students, it’s really important to have a safe place to go.”
 
Brown, a senior sociology and women’s studies double major, is currently working on her “Birth Control Matters” campaign, which she describes as “a petition to make birth control a part of preventative care.” However, if Planned Parenthood were to lose their funding, Brown’s work on campus would cease.
 
“There are women who think Planned Parenthood is evil,” Brown said, “It makes me so mad.”
 
 

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