Planned Parenthood defund bill cites dentists as reproductive care alternative

Mar 19, 2016

Photo credit: Leah Hogsten/AP

By Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy

A bill passed in the Florida legislature this week would effectively defund Planned Parenthood and other reproductive rights clinics by preventing state agencies from working with any organization that provides abortion care other than that for victims of rape, incest, or if the life of the woman is at risk.

As the bill heads to governor Rick Scott for his signature, several state lawmakers who have insisted that plentiful alternatives exist for reproductive and sexual healthcare have cited a list of health centers that includes dentists, optometrists, and elementary schools.

“I don’t understand how they put this list together,” said Kheyanna Suarez, a student at Florida Atlantic University who first started visiting Planned Parenthood when she was 16. “Were they blind and mashed everything from Google on to one list? A dental office, a Salvation Army, an elementary school – I can’t go and get care at those places. If I have to leave my healthcare up to the places on that list, I am scared. I don’t think an elementary school can prescribe me birth control.”

During the 2 March hearing on the proposal, state lawmaker Lori Berman asked bill co-sponsor Colleen Burton to elaborate on alternative resources for birth control, pap smears, breast exams and other reproductive services.

Burton replied: “We have 52 federally qualified health centers, the counties have health departments, physicians’ offices, independent clinics would be eligible if they applied and met the requirements.”

Berman then asked: “Are some of those FQHCs school board health clinics?”

“Not to my knowledge,” Burton said.

“Are some of those FHCs podiatrists’ offices?” Berman continued.

“Are you asking me if FCHCs are podiatrists’ offices?” Burton responded.

“I have seen the list of the groups,” counters Berman, “And some of those groups include podiatrists, correctional facilities, healthcare, school-based healthcare clinics. So I am just wondering if that is the list you are referring to?”

“No, FQHCs provide family planning services throughout the state of Florida,” said Burton.

“Would it be possible for me to get a copy of the list you’re referring to?” asked Berman.

“Certainly, we’ll ask the staff to provide you with that list,” Burton tells her.

The state list of federally qualified health centers that Berman received the next day includes 67 schools ranging from the elementary to high school level.

During the hearing, the bill’s supporters also repeatedly noted that there are 29 federally funded public health centers for every one Planned Parenthood health center in the state, implying that the defunding of Planned Parenthood would have little impact on patients. The anti-choice Florida Family Policy Council, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, and Americans Defending Freedom repeatedly cited this 29:1 ratio in their lobbying for HB 1411.

“That ratio number is based on this list,” Berman told the Guardian, “which is a fallacious list since many of the providers on that list are in no position to provide women’s healthcare.”

Per data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute, as of 2010, there were 126 federally qualified health centers in the state that provide contraceptive services, relative to 25 Planned Parenthood health centers in receipt of public funds, or approximately five federally funded centers that provide contraceptive care for every one Planned Parenthood health center.


Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/19/defund-planned-parenthood-florida-bill-dentist-reproductive-care-alternatives

18 comments on “Planned Parenthood defund bill cites dentists as reproductive care alternative

  • What’s the problem here? I’ve been performing abortions in my dental practice for years!

    No… just kidding. I have to admit that these nutjobs are getting more creative in their efforts to defund PPH.

    Steve



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  • I always notice that it’s GUYS who leave “humorous” comments about PP and birth control.

    I have an idea…Let’s give vasectomies to ALL guys at age 12. Then when a guy is mature enough NOT to leave “funny comments” and takes birth control seriously you can get your vasectomy reversed.

    OR we just have sperm donors like Hugh Jackman or Dr. Brian Cox for all of our baby daddies!

    From a woman in the world.



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  • Agrajag #1
    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    What’s the problem here? I’ve been performing abortions in my dental practice for years!

    No… just kidding. I have to admit that these nutjobs are getting more creative in their efforts to defund PPH.

    Unfortunately, you are not able to carry out brain transplants for those who need their delusional minds changing to rational ones! 🙂



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  • 5
    Cairsley says:

    @nuschler To Helen #2

    Helen, would you care to explain how or why Agrajag’s little joke about doing abortions in his dental practice offended you? You seem to have quite missed the point of it and instead let slip some deepseated emotional bile quite unrelated to the joke but indicative of your intense disapproval of the use of humor in the context of women’s healthcare. The joke is very much to the point with regard to the article it is referring to, in particular to the fudging by state lawmakers of the facilities where full women’s healthcare is available in some of the more backward states of the USA.

    Humor is a powerful way of dealing with difficulties and it can be a very effective tool in a campaign to change attitudes. The only problem that can arise with it is that it does require some intelligence. It is a pity that you have not yet cottoned on to it, for your own benefit as much as for whatever cause you may be wanting to further.



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  • -sigh, I was thrilled recently to learn that plan b is available over the counter now. Of course at ~50.00 USD many women can’t afford it. If these guys win it will stay that way.

    If you’re poor it’s got to feel like a conspiracy to keep you down…



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  • Helen #7
    Mar 20, 2016 at 11:46 am

    To the guy with the chimpazee as an avatar

    Really?

    That really does not answer the question, about what you find a problem, in Agrajag – (who is a dentist), poking sarcastic fun at a ridiculous anti-choice politician, who has presented a list, including schools and dentists, as serious “federally qualified health centers” for providing gynaecological services as “alternatives to the abortion and sexual health clinics”, they are trying to force to close!

    @OP – During the 2 March hearing on the proposal, state lawmaker Lori Berman asked bill co-sponsor Colleen Burton to elaborate on alternative resources for birth control, pap smears, breast exams and other reproductive services.

    Burton replied: “We have 52 federally qualified health centers,



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  • Sean_W

    #6

    There is a strong element of elitism here and it’s not new to the scene. Women of the upper middle and upper economic classes here in the US have been able to circumvent the restrictions on abortion and contraception.

    Access to abortion for the financially comfortable women is not an issue at all. If abortion were to become illegal we would expect the women with some means to take a sudden interest in travel and the women with no means will set up a home abortion cottage industry. This will not go well as we know from historical accounts. The death rate will increase. Child abandonment by any means will increase.

    I really suspect that the men who make these punitive laws feel that it is their Christian duty to punish the slutty poor down and out women for the simple fact of their daring to enjoy a sexual encounter or for the sad fact that they went and got themselves raped. When it’s their own daughter who turns up preggers with no wedding band in sight, well that’s just a whole different story. A quick vacation will be planned and conveniently to a country with a liberal abortion policy. The whole affair wills cost a couple thousand thereabouts. It’s a small price to pay. We won’t even notice that it’s missing from the account because that is an insignificant amount of money in the scheme of things. But for someone who is at or below the poverty level, that’s a month’s rent, food and car payment. They have nothing in savings, no medical insurance, four children already and are working two jobs.

    If that isn’t a trap then I don’t know what is.



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  • Headline is misleading ( List ); nevertheless, burden is placed squarely on those in need, by having to scroll through with a magnifying glass. Thanks for the tossed bread crumbs.



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  • @nuschler

    Helen. There is a another discussion in this RDFRS forum on Shame Culture.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/03/382112/

    The key quote is as follows:-

    Crouch starts with the distinction the anthropologist Ruth Benedict popularized, between a guilt culture and a shame culture. In a guilt culture you know you are good or bad by what your conscience feels. In a shame culture you know you are good or bad by what your community says about you, by whether it honors or excludes you. In a guilt culture people sometimes feel they do bad things; in a shame culture social exclusion makes people feel they are bad.

    You were concerned about the comment by Agrajag re abortions in the dentists chair. I took that to be directly aimed at the proponents of the cuts to women’s health services in Florida. That is, supportive of women’s health rights, as am I. It used ridicule to deflate a ridiculous argument. Entirely appropriate. I don’t see the link you draw of anti feminism, and wonder if the above article on Shame Culture may be informative for you. There is an immediate mob response to what we consider our personal sacred cows. We’re offended en masse. I suspect this is not a helpful response. I prefer a society where we can argue our case in the town square. As Hitchens pointed out. Being offended is not an argument. It’s an emotion. If you have an argument, then make it, but don’t expect your personal offence to silence the town square.



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  • 14
    Cairsley says:

    @nuschler Helen #7

    To the guy with the chimpazee as an avatar

    I hope you mean no slight to our dear cousins. I chose that image because it conveys at least two qualities of mine: good looks and an inquisitive mind.



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  • @ Cairsley (#5) and Alan (#8)…

    Thanks for explaining my post better than I could!

    @ Helen (#2)…

    When my wife and I decided to stop having children (after 2), it was I who had the vasectomy to avoid my wife needing to take drugs. Hope this helps. (Mods: No snark intended.)

    Can we all be friends now?

    Steve



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  • “I always notice that it’s GUYS who leave “humorous” comments about PP and birth control.”
    Guess you’ve never seen the garbage that my conservative sister posts. She has the troubling habit of forgetting what she was like in her teens/twenties and feels that everyone should be ‘responsible’ in ways that she never was.



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  • OR we just have sperm donors like Hugh Jackman or Dr. Brian Cox for all of our baby daddies!

    good looking… intelligent… physically fit…. no history of insanity…… white..

    dives out the cat flap



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