As the battle continues on Capitol Hill to solve the budget issue, Democrats and Republicans are inching closer to an agreement, but are still miles apart on what it will take to get the agreement passed.
While both parties are nearing a compromise on the amount of money to be cut from the federal budget, the two sides are worlds apart on one hot button issue: federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Currently, the GOP is placing emphasis on cutting off Title X funding for Planned Parenthood and other similar groups. Title X provides the funding for Planned Parenthood to provide health services that are not abortions to the patients that visit these centers across the country.
Without this funding, more than 30,000 Long Island residents would be without the health care they receive through Planned Parenthood.
According to Sherry Perlman, the Vice President of Development of Planned Parenthood in Nassau County, “If this budget passes, Planned Parenthood would be barred from funding through Medicaid.” Without the Medicaid funding, Perlman says that “roughly 48 percent of Planned Parenthood patients would be affected.”
Perlman stresses that federal funding for Planned Parenthood does not go toward abortions.
“We do not receive funding at all for abortions,” Perlman says. “In fact, less than 10 percent of our [total] services are abortion care. The women that are coming for services through Medicaid are coming for birth control, for cancer screenings. They are coming for sexually transmitted disease testing.”
With the proverbial axe hanging overhead, Perlman notes that the victims of Planned Parenthood’s loss of funding are not the employees of the company or the elected officials in Washington; it is the women who depend on Planned Parenthood for health care.
“All [cutting funding] does really, is effect women’s health, predominantly women without the funds needed for care.”