To The Daily Sun,
On Sept. 15, Gov. Chris Sununu’s Executive Council defunded Planned Parenthood and other critical family planning providers in New Hampshire. The Executive Council consists of five members, one for each of the districts. Our member on the council is Joe Kenney. The four Republican men voted in favor and the one Democratic woman (thank you Cinde Warmington) voted against defunding.
Planned Parenthood has been long been mischaracterized as an abortion clinic. Yes, PP does provide abortion services but that is only 3 percent of the total services they provide. The other 97 percent of services for women and men include sexually transmitted infection treatment and testing, contraceptive services including vasectomies, cancer screening and prevention, Well Woman exams, pregnancy tests, miscarriage care, urinary tract infection treatment, adoption referrals, and family practice services (Planned Parenthood Federation of America 2019-2020 Annual Report).
These services are important for the thousands of women and men that do not have access to other health care providers. Because of the Executive Council’s vote, many of these people may no longer be able to access affordable health services.
It is also important to note that none of the government funding, which comes from health care reimbursements and grants and is just over one-third of total income, pays for abortion services. In effect, to prevent something that doesn’t actually happen, 97 percent of critical health care services have been defunded. Decreased funding will prevent women from accessing contraceptive services and increase unwanted pregnancies.
The race to make abortion so restrictive or illegal in the U.S. will not eliminate abortions. They will only eliminate safe abortions for those women who do not have the means to pay doctors for this critical service.
I believe it is a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body — no one else and certainly not the government.