I'm writing in response to Maureen Shawn Kennedy's Editorial, “Politicizing Women's Choices—Again” (June). It's my understanding that Kennedy is in favor of funding Planned Parenthood and its affiliates because many people rely on their services, “such as Pap tests and breast cancer screenings, tests and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and family planning and prenatal services.”
I'm in favor of funding those services too, just not by way of Planned Parenthood. I know several organizations within my community that offer all of these services and don't offer abortions, and they don't receive any federal funding. I volunteer at our local pregnancy test center where, in addition to offering most of the aforementioned services, we also provide counseling, a crisis pregnancy hotline, mentoring, and parenting classes. The center is supported entirely by donations.
The real question is not, as Kennedy asked, “why should women's access to health services be dependent on whatever ideologies currently prevail among legislators?” Rather it's, if Planned Parenthood is so interested in taking care of the “3 million Americans … who rely on [it and its affiliates] for health care annually,” and abortion is such a sticking point in regard to funding, why doesn't Planned Parenthood establish a separate entity that offers abortion and is not funded by my tax dollars?
Lindsay Bearden, BSN, RN
Editor's note: Planned Parenthood's “abortion services are separately funded and operated,” as was noted in the Editorial. In fact, “the use of federal funds for abortion is already prohibited by law, and has been since the Title X Family Planning program was signed into law by then president Richard Nixon in 1970.”