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Planned Parenthood

House vote hurts vital services

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As a recently retired member of the clergy, having served two Unitarian Universalist congregations on the East Coast, and a former member of New York State’s Concerned Clergy for Choice, I was saddened by a recent vote in the House of Representatives attacking Planned Parenthood and the vital medical services it provides.
The House approved Republican Rep. Mike Pence’s amendment, which, if upheld by the Senate, will have a devastating impact on women’s health centers. Planned Parenthood provides preventive care like family planning, annual exams, cancer screenings, contraception and treatments for sexually transmitted infections. I would hate to see our communities lose these vital medical services. This is especially true since Planned Parenthood is the only provider of Title X family planning services in Snohomish County, where I now reside. I was very pleased to see our local representative, Rick Larsen, voted against this hurtful amendment.
Religious leaders from a broad spectrum of denominations stand with me — Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Unitarian Universalist, and the United Church of Christ, as well as rabbis and leaders of Islam. We acknowledge one in five American women has received care from Planned Parenthood during her lifetime, and that last year 3 million patients came to one of its more than 800 health centers. We trust that the Senate will not play politics with health care and the people who rely upon Planned Parenthood.
(Rev.) James R. Bridges

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