The Los Angeles City Council went on record Tuesday opposing efforts by Republican lawmakers and calls by presidential candidates to defund Planned Parenthood, a provider of reproductive health services.
“As national political candidates shamelessly threaten important health care services for families, we thought it was important to show a strong message of support for Planned Parenthood here in Los Angeles,” said Councilman Mike Bonin, who co-authored the resolution approved by the council.
Bonin said the resolution states the city’s official support for Planned Parenthood’s “safe and affordable health care services,” education and outreach programs and the “life-saving and cutting-edge research” done by the organization.
He called on the U.S. Senate “to stop using this important health care provider in their callous political games.”
Councilwoman Nury Martinez, co-author of the resolution, said the defunding of Planned Parenthood would result in “removing services for both men and women, young and old, not only for family planning but also for preventative care services such as cancer screenings and breast exams.”
Elected officials in some states have moved to cut off public funding for Planned Parenthood in response to videos that surfaced, purporting to show that the organization profits from the sale of fetal tissue. The videos were made using hidden cameras by abortion opponents posing as biomedical researchers.
Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Utah and New Hampshire have all taken steps aimed at cutting state money to the organization. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the group “does not represent the values of the people of our state.”
Planned Parenthood Vice President of Public Affairs Celinda Vazquez thanked the Los Angeles City Council “for standing with Planned Parenthood and the 150,000 patients we serve in L.A. County every year.”
Planned Parenthood has 20 health centers in Los Angeles County, with 93 percent of its clients getting family planning help and 77 percent living at or below the federal poverty level.
— City News Service
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