PLATTSBURGH - Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York is braced to lose its federal funding, contingent with the House of Representatives budget resolution decision. The agreed upon resolution eliminates Title X, and additionally removes all federal monies alloted to Planned Parenthood facilities.
According to the Office of Population Affairs, Title X, or Public Law 91-572, is a federal program designed to provide preventative health services and family planning, particularly for low income families - the only one of its kind. Among the 4,500 community health facilities reported in 2008, more than five million Americans received family planning services.
Martha Stahl, vice president of eternal affairs for the PPNCNY, acknowledged her worry at the prospect of such a reality.
"Honestly, I don't know how we would stay in business," said Stahl, who added Title X is integral in providing services for individuals with lower income.
"Title X allows us to see low income patients and put our services on a sliding fee scale," she said.
Stahl explained in low income communities, healthcare is a commodity. For many such individuals, Planned Parenthood is their only viable source of healthcare.
"For a large group of our patients, we are it," Stahl said.
Despite the perceived association with abortion, Planned Parenthood provides many services, such as counseling, screening, and immunizations among others.
"Ninety-six percent of our funding is not abortion related," Stahl pointed out. "Title X doesn't give any funding for abortion services, those are competely separate, and paid for with separate funds."
Stahl emphasized Planned Parenthood's focus on preventative medicine saying, "We see a lot of people for their regular annual exams, that's really the heart and soul of what we do."
Additionally, she acknowledged Planned Parenthood as the source for healthcare knowledge, and redirecting patients towards pertinent care.
"We provide family planning services, for things like annual exams, birth control, pap-tests - oftentimes we're the gateway into the medical field," Stahl said.