Response to Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood

August 12, 2015

This message was written by the messaging committee of Health Access and Privacy Alliance (HAPA). CFI-Indiana is a member of HAPA.

Health Access and Privacy Alliance (HAPA)
PO Box 397
Indianapolis IN 46206-0397

HAPA (Health Access and Privacy Alliance) is disappointed that Indiana Senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly voted to defund Planned Parenthood based upon attacks by a group dedicated to destroying Planned Parenthood and completely banning access to all abortion care. This is not the conversation lawmakers in Indiana need to be having about the health of women, children and families. 

In many communities, a Planned Parenthood health center is one of the only places some women can turn to for affordable care, including family planning services and basic health care. Claims have been made that “community health centers” will step up to ensure access to the services and products currently provided by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK,) but we know that many communities face significant health provider shortages and do not have the capacity to pick up the reproductive health services offered by PPINK – certainly not any time soon. 

Senators Coats and Donnelly, with no evidence other than heavily edited videos put out by an aggressive anti-abortion group, are putting at risk access for millions of Americans to affordable birth control, cancer screenings, STD screenings and other basic health care. There has never been any evidence to support the claims made in these videos.  

In fact, federal law already prohibits using federal funds to pay for abortions, and PPINK does not participate in a tissue donation program. A state of Indiana investigation conducted after the release of the videos showed no evidence of wrongdoing by PPINK, whose clinics are already heavily regulated and have regular inspections. 

The threat to Planned Parenthood and access to abortion is not over. The anti-abortion group released yet another heavily edited video after the senate voted. There is still no evidence for their claims, but legislators continue to call for restrictions and defunding. Instead of putting energy into distractions such as this, lawmakers need to have an honest conversation about the health care needs of women, children and families in Indiana. 

  • Currently a record high of one million Hoosiers, including 22 percent of the state’s children, live in poverty
  • Infant mortality rates are consistently higher in Indiana than in other states
  • Each year our state spends $91 million on unplanned pregnancies
  • In a one year period from 2013-2014, domestic violence resulted in 67 homicides in Indiana
  • Vaccinations in Indiana for the human papillomavirus (HPV), a vital tool for preventing cervical cancer, are consistently below national averages

Let’s talk about real problems and real solutions instead of manufacturing issues to gain political points. Indiana’s women, children and families deserve better.

Reba Boyd Wooden, President, Health Access and Privacy Alliance

HAPA coalition members: American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana; American Association of University Women, Indiana; American Association of University Women, Indianapolis; American Association of University Women, Muncie and Indianapolis; Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Center for Inquiry-Indiana; Central Indiana Jobs with Justice; Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice; Indiana NOW; Indianapolis NOW; Indy Feminists; Jewish Community Relations Council; League of Women Voters Bloomington/Monroe; League of Women Voters Greater Lafayette; League of Women Voters Indiana; League of Women Voters Muncie/Delaware; Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky; National Association of Social Workers Indiana; SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana/Missouri/Kansas.

Health Access and Privacy Alliance (HAPA) is a coalition of civic, educational, religious, professional, and health organizations from all over Indiana working together to improve access to healthcare and protect reproductive justice in Indiana. We believe bills affecting reproductive health should meet certain requirements: Does the stated purpose of the bill reflect its true intent? Does it address a true health care need according to the prevailing science? Will it help or hurt individuals? And will it have a negative impact on certain groups in our society? These themes of Honesty, Health, Compassion, and Justice guide our positions on proposed legislation.