By Ceillie Keane
On Thursday April 14, Golub House and Delta Delta Delta co-hosted a Dinner and Discussion event with local Planned Parenthood representative Beth LaGere who is in charge of legislative, lobbying and outreach needs in the 13 offices of the Mohawk Hudson district Planned Parenthoods.
Planned Parenthood is a recipient of Title X funding, a program created in 1970 to ensure medically safe family planning services. LaGere states that it is this funding is crucial for maintaining the low cost/no cost services that Planned Parenthood provides. These services that she mentioned, however, are not abortion.
LaGere mentioned that Title X funds only support the other, less controversial medical services that the organization provides. These also include tests necessary for women’s health, like annual breast exams and pap smears, and necessary for the health of both men and women, like STI testing. Planned Parenthood patients rely on these “low cost/no cost” services.
According to LaGere, for every 10 women using Planned Parenthood, six rely on it as their “primary healthcare provider.”
In fact, in 2008, only 3% of services that Planned Parenthood offered were abortion services; it is the other 97%, LaGere stresses, that are being threatened by the potential funding cuts.
The day of the event, both the House and the Senate voted on these funding cuts. The House voted in favor of cutting the funds that Planned Parenthood depends on; the Senate voted to deny this cut and maintain funding. Despite this “major victory,” LaGere assured the students sitting around the Golub great room that “we are not done with this fight.”
Part of this fight is educational and informational outreach like the Golub House and Delta Delta Delta event. Both sponsors are in agreement that the event was a success in relation to attendance, participation and the discussion that the information prompted.
“It gave girls on campus the opportunity to educate themselves and ask questions about Title X,” said Emily Bluth ‘12, president of Delta Delta Delta.
Irina Zhorov ‘13 feels that this education was needed. “A lot of people are not aware that Planned Parenthood provides these crucial services to both men and women,” she said.
However, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Viki Brooks remarked that LaGere was “dancing around” the “realities” of the controversial topics, like “the Christian pressure hoping that Planned Parenthood will collapse.”
Even after such prompting, LaGere maintained that though her personal opinions were clearly against the funding cuts, she was providing the group with factual statistics, procedures, and information.