BREMERTON — The threatened repeal of the Affordable Care Act would mean repeal of all federal funding to Planned Parenthood health care clinics, including the clinic in Bremerton.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Jan. 5 that Republicans will move to strip all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a national health care provider, as part of the process of repealing the act often referred to as Obamacare.
Planned Parenthood has long been a funding target because it provides abortion services.
But, “The vast majority of federal money that Planned Parenthood does receive funds preventative health care, birth control, pregnancy tests and other women’s health care services,” CNN reported in an article, “Effort to defund Planned Parenthood threatens Obamacare repeal” (read the article at goo.gl/1MzWQZ.)
Katie Rogers, communications manager for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, said Planned Parenthood provides cancer screening, birth control, and STI/STD testing, “anything that is your basic reproductive health care,” Rogers said.
“A number of women, men and teens would lose access to that care, along with sex education resources.”
Rogers said defunding Planned Parenthood “could leave thousands without care and without the quality care that they depend on.”
Planned Parenthood’s Bremerton Health Center — its sole clinic in Kitsap County — was visited more than 5,000 times by community members in 2015.
“We’re doing everything that we can to focus on working on ways to fight back against this threat,” Rogers said.
If people want to get involved, Rogers suggested a number of ways they can.
“The biggest thing is to make your voice heard,” she said. “We are not going down without a fight. The first thing you can do is attend events near you, make yourself visible.
“Another way is to share your story. If people have come to us for care, if you’re a donor, if you’re an activist, all those stories are really powerful. Show what a world without Planned Parenthood would look like.”
She also encouraged people to call their U.S. senator (find your senator at www.senate.gov/senators/contact), sign the Planned Parenthood petition (www.istandwithpp.org) or donate to the Patient Emergency Fund.
“(Those donations are) going to be directly applied to patients across our affiliated clinics,” Rogers said. “It gives women access to the care we need without having to make the decision between necessities and their health care.”
Simply making an appointment to receive care from a local Planned Parenthood clinic “continues to show the reach Planned Parenthood has across the country,” Rogers said.
Bremerton’s Planned Parenthood clinic is at 723 NE Riddell Road, Suite A. Appointments can be scheduled at 800-769-0045. This is currently the only Planned Parenthood clinic in Kitsap County. Find other Washington clinics at www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/WA.
“We’ve known all along that congressional Republicans are going to come after the low-income women that we serve,” Rogers said. “We now know that they have every intent to come after the people that we serve.”
CNN reported that President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign pledged in September to work toward defunding Planned Parenthood “as long as [the clinics] continue to perform abortions,” and re-allocating that funding to “community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.’ ”
The federal Hyde Amendment bars “the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.”
A chart (goo.gl/qVSNlV) details Planned Parenthood’s revenue sources and expenditures for 2015.
nGovernment grants accounted for 19 percent of its total revenue of $47,546,744.
nPatient services, 56 percent.
nDonations, 18 percent.
nMiscellaneous revenue, 6.6 percent.
nInvestment income, 0.4 percent.
nExpenses totaling $48,784,571 went to patient services, 67 percent.
nEducation, 13.4 percent.
nAdministration, 8.5 percent.
nGovernment relations and advocacy, 4.1 percent.
nOutreach, 4 percent.
nFundraising, 3 percent.
Rogers said that since Speaker Ryan’s announcement Jan. 5, “We have seen an incredible outpouring of support.
“We’ve added an impressive number of volunteers and people willing to take action. Patients who are looking to get long-acting, reversible contraceptives [have increased] from 900 a month to upwards of 1,600.
“Women are taking their care into their hands and preparing for an administration that is anti-woman.”