What a momentous week! On Monday, our nation observed the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a powerful voice for freedom and liberty. We celebrated the audacity of hope in hard times on Tuesday by inaugurating Barack Obama as our 44th president. And on Thursday many of us gathered to commemorate the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
In Washington state, the people on three separate occasions have affirmed at the ballot box that access to safe, legal abortion is a fundamental freedom based in personal liberty. And, in these hard times, it’s important to remember that legal abortion is critical health care for women. We know that making abortion illegal does not reduce the need for abortion. What does reduce the need is access to comprehensive family planning services.
As our state faces a budget crisis, funding for family planning should be a legislative priority. It doesn’t make sense to deny funding to programs such as the CSO family planning nurse program that save our state money by reducing unplanned pregnancies and Medicaid-funded births.
Remember, the new federal stimulus package is an investment in our future. So too is family planning.
Director of public policy, Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest, Spokane