Pitkin County commissioner: Support Planned Parenthood | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County commissioner: Support Planned Parenthood

International Women’s Day passed Friday, and we have more women in elected office than ever before, the Colorado legislature is considering a bill to ensure equal pay, and victims of sexual assault are being heard and taken seriously at all levels of influence. Yet we continue to experience attacks on women’s basic health care.

The Trump administration has adopted rules to greatly restrict the use of Title X federal funding that pays for women’s medical screening and reproductive health care. Please note that this rule doesn’t address abortion because federal funding is never used for abortions. Yet these new “gag” rules will interfere with medical providers ability to discuss all legal and medically relevant health care options — particularly abortion — with patients, even when patients request such information. We have Title X clinics in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties that would be subject to these changes.

These restrictions are radical and could mean the final defunding of Planned Parenthood, which would be required to formally separate clinics that offer both abortion and other reproductive health care even as the bulk of their services are for cervical and breast cancer screening, treatment of STIs, wellness exams and birth control. Those affected will include income-restricted families, and men and women without health insurance, of which our community has many. Please consider a donation to Planned Parenthood, or a note to our congressional delegation expressing concern about this radical and harmful policy shift.

Kelly McNicholas Kury

Pitkin County commissioner