State Rep. Dan Frankel


Frankel warns of newest Pa. attack on women's rights


HARRISBURG, April 2 State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, denounced the newest attack on women's rights in Pennsylvania a bill that would ban Planned Parenthood and prevent many other family planning clinics statewide from receiving any family planning funding, funding for cervical cancer and breast cancer screening or money to test for sexually transmitted infections that is distributed by the state Department of Health.


"Enough is enough. Most people understand that women need health care, that family planning is part of health care and that funding for family planning and women's health goes for just that - birth control and cancer screening, not abortions. Planned Parenthood and family planning clinics are the main, and sometimes only, provider of health care for many low-income or uninsured women. Only the far right -- people like Rick Santorum, and apparently Daryl Metcalfe doesn't believe couples should be able to have access to family planning. It's clear they have too much sway over Republicans in Harrisburg," Frankel said.


"Pennsylvanians don't want women to be forced to 'close their eyes' to a mandatory ultrasound before receiving a legal medical procedure, and they understand that having birth control covered in health insurance policies protects couples and actually saves money for everyone. The war on women must stop."


Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, appointed by House majority leadership as chairman of the State Government Committee, has announced he will introduce a bill that would ban Planned Parenthood from receiving family planning funding because it also provides abortions. The bill would also place family planning providers that don't provide abortions, such as Adagio Health in western Pennsylvania, at the bottom of the list for receiving funds distributed by the state Department of Health after all other providers. The Metcalfe bill will be called the "Whole Woman's Health Funding Priorities Act."


Frankel said, "Apparently, some Republicans think those health clinics dedicated solely to women's care don't deserve to get the funds dedicated to women's health care. Does this make sense to anyone?"


Planned Parenthood reports that just under 3 percent of its health services nationwide are abortion services, while the organization provides nearly 770,000 Pap tests and nearly 750,000 breast exams each year, critical services in detecting cancer. Planned Parenthood health centers focus on prevention: 76 percent of its clients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy.


A recent poll, conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research on behalf of the organization, found that 65 percent oppose eliminating state funding for Planned Parenthood, including a majority of respondents in every region of the state and among Republicans, Democrats and independents.