MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION
Assembly Health Committee
An ACT to amend the public health law and legislative law, in relation to prohibiting state funds from being allocated to Planned Parenthood or any organization which performs abortions.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District II (ACOG) OPPOSES this bill, which would restrict state funds from being allocated to Planned Parenthood or any organization which performs abortions.
This measure endangers the public health, interfering with access to reproductive health care and other critical services.
Providing exceptional and affordable access to health care services for all New York women is a priority for ACOG. Planned Parenthood and similar organizations are essential in providing a large population of underserved, uninsured women and men with quality health care including adolescent health care, HIV counseling and testing, tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse education, violence against women awareness campaigns, family planning options and – at some facilities – abortions.
Many women utilize these facilities as their primary care providers and receive access to health care options such as cervical and breast cancer screenings, routine gynecological annual exams, pregnancy testing, prenatal care and referral, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases. This primary care is crucial in keeping New York’s women and men healthy.
ACOG continues to affirm the legal right of women to obtain a safe and legal abortion. This legislation would be detrimental to women’s human rights and their access to health care. It is extremely concerning that the bill will ultimately disallow the continuation of safe and common abortion procedures by eliminating many facilities that perform abortions in New York State. This legislation would deny access for abortions in cases of rape, incest or where the pregnancy endangers a women’s life. Whenever the government attempts to eliminate funding for safe medical procedures such as abortions from physicians and health care providers, it risks woman’s health by prohibiting medical care that may be the safest, most accessible option for the patient. Moreover, women should not be denied access to safe, legal abortion procedures and other health care services merely because medical facilities no longer have state funding in which to operate.
The legislation claims that public funds allocated to organizations that provide abortions is wasteful, YET the majority of the state funds that are allocated to Planned Parenthood and other organizations are for preventive health care services that ultimately save tax dollars.
Elimination of state funds for Planned Parenthood and similar organizations will leave many New Yorkers with no other option then to forgo necessary and quality health care, timely medical prevention and treatment and lawful services.
For these reasons, ACOG opposes this bill and urges legislators to vote AGAINST this legislation.
May 21, 2011
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District II (ACOG) represents the board certified obstetrician-gynecologists in the state who deliver health care to New York’s women. Our Albany office offers the New York State Legislature its resources as a scientific and educational organization dedicated to quality health care for women. If you have questions on this or any other state legislative proposal, please contact our office at 518-436-3461.