This week, a helpful piece of legislation, Senate Bill 152 led by PA State Sen. Judy Ward (R-Blair), was passed out of the PA Senate Health Committee on a party-line vote (7-4). This bill would prioritize state funding for family planning in order to provide better care and more access for women in need.
Taxpayer funding in our state’s budget for family planning services to low-income women should be directed towards the best comprehensive scope of care and service options, and not those are also motivated by direct profits from abortion.
Senate Bill 152 would prioritize family planning funding beginning with comprehensive care options like Pennsylvania’s Community Health Centers or Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). These centers offer far more services than a facility like Planned Parenthood – such as mammograms and prenatal care – and are not fueled by the business of abortion.
For Community Health Centers, there are more than 330 sites across 52 counties in Pennsylvania that serve over 917,000 patients annually. FQHCs even offer transportation for their patients to their appointments and referrals. In comparison, there are 23 Planned Parenthood facilities in just 14 Pennsylvania counties. Planned Parenthood is serving fewer patients, with reports showing a drop of at least 60% in patients since 2011.
Senate Bill 152 would prioritize family planning funding to be used in a way that brings better levels of care and access to women across our Commonwealth. “Currently, limited federal and state public funding exists for family planning and preventive health services for women,” states Sen. Judy Ward. “To ensure maximized use of funding, this legislation will prioritize the distribution to the most efficient point-of-service health care providers and encourage complete medical records for all services provided to women.”
Pennsylvania Family Council thanks Sen. Judy Ward for her leadership on Senate Bill 152. Pennsylvanians deserve to have their tax dollars that are designated for women’s health prioritized to providers that offer comprehensive care and more access over ones that offer limited services and are involved in the business of abortion. These are the precise aims of this legislation and why we urge its prompt passage.