Letters to the Editor

SUNDAY, DEC. 26, 2010

Family planning cuts unwise

This holiday season, people often wish for special gifts, but many Washingtonians are in a desperate place and have different hopes. Their wish list includes being able to get the maternity support services they need, getting their child into affordable day care or getting basic health care.

It is women who are most at risk for losing health care coverage during economic hardships. When they’re in need, many women turn to their local family planning health centers for help.

The governor’s budget includes enormous cuts to family planning. At least a quarter of all low-income family planning centers in Washington are expected to close if these cuts become final. Women will suffer, and so will the state budget.

We’ve read it here before and I’ll say it again: For every dollar spent on preventive family planning services, the state saves $4.39 in costs associated with unintended pregnancy. If the state cuts millions of dollars in family planning services, how will it deal with greater costs from new unintended pregnancies in the same two-year budget? And how will women cope?

Legislators need to do what’s right and save family planning.

Lea Anne Carrington


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