Amber Logsdon, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Volunteer
The Virginia state legislature is using underhanded tricks to pursue their latest pet cause: defunding Planned Parenthood. Last week, the Virginia House of Delegates passed HB 1090, a measure that would prevent the Virginia Department of Health from funding any health care facility that performs abortions, an attack designed to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics in the state. These political attacks are part of the state legislature’s dangerous crusade to punish Planned Parenthood.
After the Center for Medical Progress’s smear videos last summer, state governments have been using the group’s fabricated videos as an excuse to strip funding from Planned Parenthood’s comprehensive health care centers. Even though the videos were proven to be libelous and a grand jury indicted the filmmakers earlier this year, anti-choice legislators continue to use them as an excuse to shut down clinics under the guise of women’s health and safety.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that Planned Parenthood is only out to help the communities they serve, Virginia legislators are holding funding for Planned Parenthood clinics hostage over abortion services. The fact is that no federal funds – including those from Medicare – may be used for abortions.
Lawmakers don’t seem to understand or care about the impact defunding clinics would have on Virginians. I used Planned Parenthood services for STD testing after I was raped to make sure that I hadn’t contracted any diseases from my rapist. I also know many women who receive their birth control from Planned Parenthood, and others who have used their adoption services after they found that abortion wasn’t the right choice for them. A friend of mine used their health centers for her prenatal care because their sliding-scale payment options made it significantly easier for her to afford care, compared to the private gynecological practices.
The smear tactics and misinformation used against Planned Parenthood deceives and distorts the beneficial services they offer to surrounding communities. The anti-choice ideologues in Richmond feed off of the stigma attached to the Planned Parenthood so that they can build support for their cause. We have to stop this bill from passing the Virginia Senate. Contact your Senator today and urge them to vote no on HB.1090!
For the care, the health, the sake of us all – this bill needs to be stopped.