Larsen family story exposes lies that Planned Parenthood opponents continue to spread despite the facts.
— from the office of U.S. Representative Rick Larsen —
Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, on Sept. 18voted against a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, a move that would take away preventive health care for millions of women and men across the country. Larsen shared his family’s story about the way Planned Parenthood helped them, and he called for continued funding for the organization that serves millions of women with a range of health care services each year.
“In early 1996, my wife and I received great news: the pregnancy test showed Tiia was pregnant with our first son. Because our health insurance plans were not very good, Tiia sought out an affordable health care provider that could do the test in a safe facility. That provider was the local Planned Parenthood clinic.
“We are very pleased that Planned Parenthood was there for us and played an important role in bringing this good news to us. Tiia was like many Planned Parenthood patients using the reproductive health services the organization provides. Unlike some, however, she didn’t need the financial assistance some get through federal family planning funding—Title X—to get this service. Yet, many do. Nearly 80 percent of women using Planned Parenthood clinics have an income at or below 150 percent of the poverty level.
“Our family story is one that exposes the lies that Planned Parenthood opponents continue to spread despite the facts. Ninety-seven percent of Planned Parenthood services are reproductive and preventive health care, not abortions. For example, in Washington state in 2013, more than 17,000 women turned to Planned Parenthood for a breast exam. During a recent visit I made to Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood in Bellingham, I learned that about 70 percent of the clinic’s patients rely on the health center as their source of primary health care.
“Planned Parenthood is there for women and men who otherwise would have difficulty affording care. Women and men use their health insurance and Medicaid, as well as Title X funding, to meet their health care needs at Planned Parenthood.
“Taking away these services from people in our communities who can least afford it just to score political points is unacceptable. I am frustrated that Congress is once again focusing its attention on stripping away people’s health care and interfering with women’s ability to make decisions with their doctors.
“I have consistently voted to protect funding for family planning services and Planned Parenthood, and I will continue to do so. I stand with Planned Parenthood and the millions of people who depend on the organization for their health care, and I am deeply grateful that Planned Parenthood was there for my family,” Larsen said.
Larsen voted against H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, but House Republicans passed the bill by a vote of 241-187.