At a town hall meeting this week, U.S. Rep. Allen West said he found it "offensive" that many Planned Parenthood programs are located in black neighborhoods.Judith Selzer, vice president of public policy for South Florida's chapter of Planned Parenthood, wrote the Juice to respond. Here's an excerpt from her comments:
A study by the Guttmacher Institute found that only one in 10 centers that perform abortions are located in predominately African-American neighborhoods, and the funding Congressman West voted to cut was for Pap smears, breast exams, HIV testing and birth control. None of the funding is used for abortion services.
For over 90 years, Planned Parenthood has been providing affordable, preventive health care and education to women, men and teens in every community. We strongly believe that every woman, regardless of her income, where she lives, her race or ethnic background, deserves to have the full range of reproductive health
care, from access to birth control to making personal and private medical decisions about terminating a pregnancy.
More than 90% of the services Planned Parenthood offers are preventive services that help women, families and communities stay healthy. At Planned Parenthood, we treat health care as a basic human right-- one that's dispensed freely and without judgment to every person, regardless of race, gender, class or age.
If Congressman West wants to know what Planned Parenthood is doing in black neighborhoods, the answer to that question is certainly apparent if he visits a local health center or meets one of our educators.
No organization does more than Planned Parenthood to prevent unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion. Our health care services include life saving cancer screenings, breast health care, prenatal services, well-woman exams, contraceptive services, STD prevention and treatment and much more.
Planned Parenthood serves millions of women and families who would otherwise have no access to the most basic of preventative health care information and services. Using misinformation in an attempt to discredit and disavow the very positive work of Planned Parenthood is irresponsible and hurts women.