Why Planned Parenthood Matters: Thousands Might Lose Vital Health Care With Republican Defund Effort

Portland Phoenix – January 14, 2017

In the first couple weeks after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced plans to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood through a budget reconciliation bill, staff and volunteers at the Portland center have been hard at work.

Immediately after the election, Planned Parenthood, a low-cost facility that provides preventative and reproductive health care to people of all genders and ages, saw a surge in volunteers across the country.

At the Portland center, over 300 new volunteers signed up. Almost every day since the election they’ve been working the phones, activating their supporters and putting pressure on members of Congress to reject the proposed gutting of the Affordable Care Act — which would include eliminating the $500 million that Planned Parenthood receives annually from the government.

I took a tour of Planned Parenthood in Portland, one of four centers serving 10,000 patients in Maine, and spoke with Nicole Clegg, the Vice President of Public Policy, about the value of their services and what’s expected in the fight ahead. She said that like Planned Parenthood staff across the nation, she’s prepared to do everything she can to make sure her patients still get care.

“We’re not leaving any stone unturned,” said Clegg. “We’re really the only affordable option for people in Southern Maine.”

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