Where We Live: The Uncertain Future of Planned Parenthood

What will Cuts for Family Planning mean for women's health

Judy Tabar
Photo:Chion Wolf, WNPR
Where We Live: The Uncertain Future of Planned Parenthood
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Where We Live: The Uncertain Future of Planned Parenthood

In 1961, Estelle Griswold, president of Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, opened a birth control clinic to dispense contraceptives -- a bold act of civil disobedience that changed the course of the history of family planning legislation. 

It resulted in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut, where the US Supreme Court removed one of the last serious barriers to family planning. 

Now, the Republican House has set out to reverse this and other legislation that has supported Planned Parenthood over the past 50 years with legislation that takes aim at abortion, but cuts basic health care for millions of women in the country as a result. Today we talk about what these cuts mean for the future of family planning and women's health. 



I totally agree! The bias in

I totally agree! The bias in the media is so disheartening.

PP funding is in violation of the Hyde Amendment

If the organization provides abortions and gets government money, it is like borrowing form Peter to pay Paul. It is a clear conflict of interest. Eliminate abortion services and keep performing the good work they do. Sounds simple to me. Other places can provide the abortions. But PP would never give up their big ticket item.

Importance of Planned Parenthood

If you don't want an abortion, don't have one. If you need one, have one that is safe and legal.
No man, unless he is an ob-gyn who provides legal and safe abortions, should be part of this conversation. This has to do with a woman's choice and women's rights. Abortion is a tiny portion of PPs services (2% I think.) PP provides health care screening for women, particularly for cervical and breast cancer. Should women be denied these services? It looks like the folks against PP think we should let these women die. For women to achieve equal rights (they're not there yet), they must be able to control their reproduction. Family planning is essential for healthy families. Men also receive health care from PP. The current bill is anti-women.

Umm... would they be better off dead?

I am just wondering if you believe that all these kids would be better off dead? Maybe we should kill them now? Because they might be unhappy?

Also, why single out poor and minority children (who are the majority of kids in DCF care)... maybe we should just randomly kill of kids from all classes and groups, just be democratic.

De-fund NPR too!

What a piece of propaganda!

PP got the first word, the last word and most of the words in between. The host was pro PP, Senator Richard Blumenthal was given what seemed like 20 minutes to sing PP's praises and to excoriate the Pence Amendment, Judy Tabar the head of PP for Southern New England was given extensive time, and the guest Laura the nurse got to relate how PP "saved my life."

This is typical NPR reporting on issues like this: 90% devoted to their side, 10% to the other.

Why do taxpayers have to fund this egregiously biased "public affairs" propaganda?

De-fund NPR and PP!

Planned Parenthood

I went to Planned Parenthood and they pushed me to have what they called a safe abortion however I almost died the second pregnancy round because of having that procedure. I have faced the fact that I let them murder my child and now hope that this place never ever hurts another woman or child again and if defunding them is the way they are going then so be it. May they no longer give faulty contraception and I hope every one reads the book written by the Former Directo of Planned Parenthood so that you know the genecide going on in the womb... Its pure evil and if that is what you stand for and with then that is on you

planned parenthood

what are the pro life people doing with children that are in DCF care or in orphanages. Are they stopping the abuse that happens with children when the adult party is not ready to be a parent. Are they providing a healthy quality of life vs. giving life. Planned Parenthood provides choice wether it's adopting, becoming parents or whether it's that hard decision to terminate their pregnancy. Planned Parenthood educates and prevent unwanted pregnancy and gives great care. When was the last time someone helped that mom who decided to keep her pregnancy @ those pregnancy crisis center? formula or diapers?

I wish you could offer a fair coverage instead of this

This was a very unfair way to treat the issue; they had two people in favor of legal abortions, one even present on the show, versus only one on the other side of the issue, on the phone! Also, a lot of time was given to Mr. Blumenthal and Ms. Tabar to explain their position, while an absolute minimal amount of time was given to Mr. Wolfgang. As if this was not enough, Mr. Dankosky kept trying to interrupt Mr. Wolfgang to challenge his position. Dankosky also did not ask ANY challenging questions to Mr. Blumenthal or Ms. Tabar, he just kept agreeing with them and letting them use all kind of propaganda phrases like "war on women", etc. It is because of shows like this that NPR is losing public funding, and I am very sorry to say that you deserve to lose it. You should be representing intelligent moderates who want to hear all sides, and instead you have turned into a bunch of liberal extremists.

What a beautiful choice you

What a beautiful choice you made for your family. The key word being.... Choice.

In the light of day

Questions for Peter Wolfgang: When it comes to "other than Planned Parenthood" resources, do you mean Birthright? And when you said "Planned Parenthood is tainted", do you mean by the sham "investigations" and fabricated video from Lila Rose?

The talking points he repeats in the light of day on WNPR simply don't have the impact as when with the agreeable bobbleheads on Fox News or the "he said she said" mainstream press.

Email From Dave

To be fair, your guest did very obviously dodge the question of how do you separate funding. They are questions that are very difficult to answer. It's like asking a politician how they separate private random gifts from bribes. It's a very slippery slope, so all you can do is dodge it.

My real concern though is why so much time of our very expensive bureaucracy is being spent on moral issues, such as gay marriage and abortion, which pretty clearly come down to moral issues. The reason why I see the the separation of church and state so important to the proper functioning of our country is because moral issues are very difficult to solve. Everyone will have their own opinion, and you won't make them happy. The only way to take care of these issues is to say that the government shouldn't have a say in them at all. Between the floundering economy, the manufactured war between corporate interests and workers rights, and military officers order psychological manipulation on senators and influential analysts, I think that there are much more important things that NEED to be talked about, and when all we here is DOMA and Planned Parenthood, it just seems like our time as concerned citizens actually taking the time to listen to the news is being wasted. It feels like psy-ops are being used on all of us, and it's not cool.

email from Ellen

I have 8 children. I wanted to do this for my life. I and my husband have put everything into them. They are now all highly educated, and they are making a great deal of money collectively, more than you or I would ever have made. PP tells women that the options will cause them freedom from financial poverty; wrong. It does the opposite.

email from Chris

The first GYN I ever saw at age 19 was at Planned Parenthood and she continued to be my one and only doctor until I was 27 years old. Never got pregnant, never had an STD, had one sex partner all those years. I was an off-and-on college student and had no health insurance. I paid on a sliding scale and only left when I completed school and got a job with insurance. I don't even remember the doctor I went to next, but I can see that PP doc clearly in my mind - I thought she was great. BTW, the PP in my town (Buffalo NY) never provided abortions - they had to refer you elsewhere.

I can't believe another caller thinks PP is racist, etc. - when it seems the Pro-Life people are ONLY concerned with the fetus. Once that child is born however, they don't want to pay for any services, they point fingers at single mothers breaking down society, they belittle "wellfare mothers," and do nothing to support low income, working families --- including wanting to repeal Health Care Reform that might help women who go to PP. I think parenthood should be a choice, and sex education and contraception allow women to make that important choice for themselves.

BTW - my mom and my aunt, who had children in 1955, 1957, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, and one each in 1967, both said it was a miracle when their doctor said there was this new prescription pill available .......

email from Amelia

I don't know if there's time to get this into the show, but I wanted to tell my short story and provide some commentary on Planned Parenthood:

I think it important to recognize the PUBLIC good being provided by PP, that is, the benefits to society that go beyond the person who is seeking medical care at PP. Providing contraception and contraception education not only prevents unplanned pregnancies which often are a financial burden on society, it is also prevents the spread of infectious diseases to others. Furthermore, I was a patient at PP and cannot say enough about the medical care I received there. Not only were my medically necessary birth control prescription needs met, but tough conversations I’d never been able to have before that educated me about being a woman and all that that means when it comes to protecting my own health and standing up for it when necessary. If PP was NOT available, I absolutely WOULD NOT have gotten these services. And I think it very important to point out that I have a number of friends who have very similar stories to tell.

email from Christopher

Okay, on the feet over the fire issue: If federal funds are not used for abortion services, where do those funds come from?

Are there private donations used? State funds? Where do they come from?

email from Vicki

I am a Certified Nurse-Midwife currently in private practice and formerly of a Fedrally Qulified Community Health Center
in Albany, NY. I have received many referred clients who have had their pregnancies confirmed at PP and then came to
my practice for continued pregnancy care. It is an excellent system.

email from Allison

I was wondering if Mr. Dankosky can ask Mr. Wolfgang if he is aware of the drastic cuts that are facing Community Health Centers - - those clinics which he referred to as the place where the poor could go. In Connecticut, that would mean the possibility of some of these centers closing. The cuts are proposed by the same legislators that are advocating for the elimination of funds for Planned Parenthood. So if all of these funding sources are eliminated, where are they going to go?

email from Andrea

Question for Planned Parenthood Rep:

Do you favor government funding for pregnancy centers that promote abstinence, encourage women not to abort, and provide prenatal care and assistance?

(I expect her answer to be no.)

Why not? Why should every American taxpayer be forced to support the services and values promoted by Planned Parenthood but not the services and values promoted by these crisis pregnancy centers?

May I submit that ALL such organizations need to be defunded by the federal government and supported through private donations. When these kind of very private decisions and values are nationalized, it only creates bitterness.

Email from Laurel

I went to Planned Parenthood because they knew MORE about contraceptive options than my gynecologist did. When my hustband and I were not ready to have kids, PP had more options, like the cervical cup. They also diagnosed my allergy to certain components, and could tell me which products didn't contain those components.

Now, I may LOSE MY LIFE to the anti-abortion at all costs people. I have metastatic breast cancer. The drug RU486 inteferes with progesterone in a way that would likely control my cancer, but it is not available because anti-abortion zealots made it so hard to get hold of the drug that cancer researchers gave up on trying to get it. (this drug also causes medical abortions, but that's not what I want it for. I just want to stay alive to see my kids finish growing up.)

emailed from Diana

I hope this is the last time I have to hear Peter Wolfgang on Where we Live and that his organization is not receiving any government funding.

listener email from Dave

Stopping war would prevent many more deaths, and actually increase the quality of life for citizens of this planet. Pushing so hard to prevent abortions while ignoring that war kills many more people makes it look like you are arguing for breeding as many future soldiers as possible, a mentality that was very common before and during WWII. The right doesn't seem to agree that anything should be planned ahead for except for war, which is kind of sick. I know it sounds cold, but I see a life gaining value as it acquires experiences from living, so therefore killing an 18 year old outweighs killing a baby to me, especially if there is no one there able to take care of that child and give it quality experiences.

Honestly though, I think that the easiest way to end this argument about where federal funding should go would be to end all federal funding to everything. Let the states do what each of them want to do, so the people who think one path is right can try it, and those who disagree can move to another state that does something different. I think the biggest problem we have is trying to make everyone in a very large and diverse country all do the same thing. Lets just try them all and let evolution sort them out. Who knows, in certain states, they might have better services to raise unwanted children communally, and in others, it might benefit them more to not have those kids. It could actually be better for everyone to just allow people to do what they feel is best in their local area, and give those who disagree the liberty to move to a place that does something different.

listener email from William

I would like to comment, in regard to the anti-abortion caller, that abortion used to be illegal, in both the U. S. and in England, and the result was a glut of illegal providers, who injured many women and children, including the actress Jane Russell, who died yesterday, and was unable to bear children as a result of a back-alley abortion. Would this caller like to go back to this prior system?

listener email from Meghan

Thank you for doing this show on such an important issue. In the past I had no health insurance and Planned Parenthood offered check-ups and preventative care on a fair, sliding scale that I could afford on a minimum-wage salary. I don't know what I would have done without that option. I think the Republicans in Congress are truly heartless. There are millions of uninsured women out there who simply cannot afford health care. If Planned Parenthood is not available to them, where will they get cancer screenings, birth control pills, sex education, etc?

It really disturbs me that it has come to this.