Planned Parenthood of Montana has been my primary care provider for the last thirteen years. I’ve gone to them for contraception, annual exams, cancer screenings, anxiety and depression issues, digestion problems and more.
Family planning services around the country operate on Title X funding – that funding goes toward the services I just listed. Title X funding is never used for abortion care, and yet this particular funding which provides life-saving, preventative care is exactly what conservatives and the anti-choice community are after. By their logic, if Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics are forced to close due to the lack of Title X funding, our country will no longer be plagued by abortion.
This attack is not only at the federal level. The Montana House recently voted to remove 4.7 million in family planning funding from our state budget. This year alone, Montana’s family planning programs served 27, 731 patients. Contraceptive services provided at family clinics in Montana helped prevent 5,600 unintended pregnancies, which would likely have resulted in 2,500 unintended births and 2,300 abortions.
Getting rid of federal Title X funding and cutting family planning funding at the state level will do nothing to prevent abortions. It will prevent women from accessing affordable and sanitary services. It will create more unintended pregnancies by cutting off access to contraception. It will result in more unwanted children and many more back alley abortions.
If the anti-choice folks really want to do something about abortion – which is a completely legal medical procedure I might add – they should support Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics around our state and nationwide. These clinics, by providing contraception and accurate medical information, do more to prevent abortion than the other side ever will.
[Special thanks to guest contributor Ashley Stevick for this post. If you are interested in being a guest contributor, email me on the tipline.]