May 24, 2012 — Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) has proposed legislation that would establish a priority system for distributing public family planning funding, putting Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortion care at the bottom of the list, the Huffington Post reports.
The Whole Women's Health Funding Priority Act was co-written by the antiabortion-rights groups Susan B. Anthony List and the Alliance Defense Fund and closely mirrors legislation recently signed into law in Arizona. Six other states last year also enacted legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, although all the laws, except for Wisconsin's, have been temporarily blocked.
Mallory Quigley, communications director for SBA List, said the bill's "emphasis is on comprehensive whole woman care, so instead of [women] going to Planned Parenthood to receive one type of service, they will now be going to qualified health clinics where they can get mammograms, treatment for hypertension and depression, dental care, all these things Planned Parenthood doesn't provide" (Bassett, Huffington Post, 5/23).
Sari Stevens -- executive director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates -- noted that the organization provided cervical cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted infections, birth control, and family planning services and routine annual exams to 120,000 residents last year. She added that abortion care makes up just 5% of Planned Parenthood's services.
"Our position is that politics shouldn't interfere with where a woman gets her breast cancer screening and the fact that this will affect tens of thousands of Pennsylvania women makes it a major political liability in an election year," Stevens said (Ritger, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/22).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.