You’re not going to believe this. The national attack on women’s health has made its way to our home state.
Last week, State Representative James Lyons (R-Andover) filed an amendment (#575) to the Fiscal Year 2013 state budget to cut all funding for family planning services. These proposed cuts will do nothing to create jobs or fix the economy. Rather, slashing the family planning programs will only hurt Massachusetts families, destabilize our communities and cost taxpayers more money in the long run. In fact, every dollar invested in family planning saves over four dollars in Medicaid expenditures that otherwise would have been needed for pregnancy-related care.
Thankfully, Rep. Paul Schmid (D-Westport) has introduced an amendment that would increase family planning to $6.2 million, which would bring the program back up to Fiscal Year 2009 levels.
As essential community providers, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and other family planning providers receive state family planning dollars to provide affordable health care to at-risk populations, including low income, underserved and uninsured individuals. This funding also goes to vital outreach and education services that reach the communities that need it most.
As someone who supports women’s health programs, you can make your voice heard right now: Ask your Representative to support Rep. Schmid’s amendment (#786) to increase family planning funding AND ask your Representative to urge House leadership to oppose Rep. Lyons’ amendment (#575).
At a time when states across the country are slashing family planning and restricting access to essential preventive services, Massachusetts MUST lead by example and demonstrate its fullest commitment to women’s health.
Your support is more important than ever as continued advocacy for women’s health is critical at the State House.
The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts is committed to electing more legislators who will stand up for family planning funding, abortion access, and the other vital health care needs of their constituents, even when it’s politically difficult. Visit our website to learn more, sign up to volunteer, or make a donation.