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Planned Parenthood warns cuts in federal aid would have damaging impact


Concerns about possible cuts in federal aid to Planned Parenthood have spurred some high-profile outreach efforts in recent days.

Advocates have staged what they called Pink Out Day in Albany Wednesday, a campaign that encouraged people to wear pink as a sign of resistance to proposed federal funding cuts to the organization.

Meanwhile, advocates from Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York trekked to Washington Wednesday in an effort to convince lawmakers that the programs operated by the organization play critical roles in many people lives.

Michelle Casey, the agency’s regional director, talked with WBFO by telephone during her Washingtonvisit. She said the goal was to let lawmakers know about the “damage that would be done” to people if Planned Parenthood could no longer bill Medicaid for services or if other funding cuts reduce patient access to key programs. About 60 percent of Planned Parenthood’s 2.5 million clients are on Medicaid.

“The big thing about this is that people have been saying the patients should just go to another provider, but we in fact have talked to the other safety net providers in the communities we serve, and they do not have the capacity to see our patients, on top of the people they are already seeing.”

Casey added that the agency serves a large constituency.

“One in 5 women utilize Planned Parenthood services in the course of their lifetime, and so it’s a really large percentage of women that have used our services. So I think it’s near and dear to many people’s hearts.”