Due to our Thumbelina-sized issue this week, a number of regrets we solicited had to be cut from the paper—among them, regrets sent in from Planned Parenthood, the national kickass family planning agency that provides high-quality, affordable reproductive health care for young and low-income women and men. Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest says:
On a national level, we regret that the United States House of Representatives would opt to shut the government down rather than fund basic women’s health. We regret that not a single Republican presidential candidate is pro-choice. Furthermore, we regret that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius rejected the FDA’s recommendation to make Plan B over the counter to everyone, but men and boys can still get Viagra in the aisle.
Locally, we regret that in its attempts to save money, Washington State cut $2.25 million from family planning in 2011, which actually increased our state’s pregnancy costs by $9 million (i.e. costing the state money instead of saving it) and eliminated services for 7,500 low-income women. We also harbor big ol’ regrets that Gov. Chris Gregoire has recommended cutting another $1.8 million from family planning funding in her current budget proposal.
We regret that three more safety-net Planned Parenthood clinics for low-income people had to close this year. Finally, we regret that despite more desperate economic times than we have had since the Great Depression, legislators in Washington still haven’t made a revenue proposal to stop cuts to the programs Washington families depend on.