Federal funding cuts could close Planned Parenthood clinics in Oregon

Federal funding cuts could close Planned Parenthood clinics in Oregon »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. - Supporters of Planned Parenthood say proposed cuts to federal funding could put the health of thousands of Oregonians in jeopardy.

"This isn't about reducing federal spending," said Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon CEO Cynthia Pappas. "It isn't about reducing the deficit, it is really an ideological attack on women's health care."

Future federal funding for Planned Parenthood is in limbo after the U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to cut close to $400 millions from the program.

But Pappas says the cuts wouldn't save money in the long run.

"Every taxpayer would end up paying more money for family planning and reproductive health care in our country. Because preventative health care is always, always cheaper."

Right now, 70 percent of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon's budget comes from federal funding, the rest comes from donations.

They currently serve 25,000 clients annually.

If the federal funding is cutoff, clinics in smaller cities like Grants Pass, Ashland and Florence might have to close their doors.

"If people go without this kind of preventative health care, it costs more money," said Pappas. "It means they end up in the emergency room, and it means there's a higher number of unintended pregnancies."

But not everyone agrees.    

Oregon Right to Life Executive Director Gayle Atteberry says she supports the proposed funding cuts.

"I believe it's a good move," said Atteberry.

She believes Planned Parenthood shouldn't receive federal money because the agency provides abortions.

"I support it because Planned Parenthood is the number one abortion provider in the United States, while abortions around the U.S. are decreasing, the amount of abortions Planned Parenthood does increases."

She says if they it came to it, Planned Parenthood could find funding elsewhere, just like other non-profits.

"If Planned Parenthood is truly concerned about women's health, I am quite positive, quite positive that they can rearrange their budget so that women that really need their services can get them," said Atteberry.

Pappas says Planned Parenthood is working every angle they can to let people know how important this funding is.

"We're working very hard at communication with all of our senators across the country, to make sure they understand that they need to be in touch with mainstream America."

Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon will host a rally Wednesday at the old Federal Courthouse in Downtown Eugene at the corner of Pearl and 7th Streets.
    
It kicks off at 4:30 and runs until 6 p.m.