Senate Committee Advances Bill to “Defund” Planned Parenthood in Pa.

Posted on April 26, 2017

CONTACT: Sari Stevens
717.234.3024 office
sari.stevens@pppamail.org

HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 26, 2017) – The Senate Finance Committee today voted to advance a measure designed to “defund” Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania by targeting reimbursements that the state Department of Human Services provides to health centers that offer lifesaving preventative care such as cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and treatment, and wellness exams.

“A vote for this measure is a vote to deny constituents access to essential reproductive care and vital health services,” said Sari Stevens, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates.

The legislation (S.B. 300) is sponsored by state Sen. John Eichelberger Jr. (R-Blair/Cumberland/Franklin), who admitted that his measure is targeted specifically at Planned Parenthood and even acknowledged that he does not know about the full scope of services that Planned Parenthood provides.

Several of Eichelberger’s constituents attended the meeting and spoke to reporters after the vote.
Although Eichelberger positioned his bill as a way to spend tax dollars more efficiently, he could not present any financial analyses to support his claim, nor could he answer specific, direct questions about its financial impact on the state budget or on communities that would be affected.

He also repeated false assertions that Planned Parenthood patients ultimately would be seamlessly absorbed by an already overburdened health-care network.

In Pennsylvania, nearly 50 percent of Planned Parenthood’s health centers in Pennsylvania are in medically under-served areas of the state, including those Eichelberger represents. That means efforts to defund Planned Parenthood would disenfranchise people of color, those with low incomes and people in rural areas the most. Moreover, more than 70 percent of the counties that Planned Parenthood serves already have a shortage of health care providers.

Planned Parenthood last year served about 90,000 patients and provided nearly 170,000 screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, over 9,000 cervical cancer screenings and 11,000 breast wellness exams.
Gov. Tom Wolf has already stated that he would veto the measure, which now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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ABOUT PLANNED PARENTHOOD PENNSYLVANIA ADVOCATES
In partnership with the three Planned Parenthood affiliates in Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, the state public affairs office in Harrisburg, works to achieve maximum public, governmental and media support for reproductive health care – including family planning – by developing, implementing and facilitating a statewide strategy.

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