Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Proposals to defund Planned Parenthood/Opioid update

Written by Scott LaMar and Claire Porter | Aug 2, 2017 4:25 AM
Planned Parenthood sign 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, August 2, 2017:

The most contentious issue in America today may be abortion and it's been that way for much of the past four decades.  One of the newest tactics used by elected officials opposed to abortion is to cut off federal and state funding from Planned Parenthood -- a reproductive health organization that provides abortions along with other services for women.

A lot of information is circulated about Planned Parenthood, whether on websites or picket signs, so discerning actual statistics about the organization can sometimes be a challenge. The services provided by Planned Parenthood include sexually transmitted disease screenings, cancer screenings, birth control, pregnancy tests, prenatal services and abortion. According to Planned Parenthood, 3% of their services are for abortions, while 42% accounts for STD testing, screening and treatment.

A 1976 law bans federal funding from being used to pay for elective abortions. Government money comes in the form of Medicaid for low-income clients.  Planned Parenthood maintains the organization complies with the law but opponents say blanket Medicaid payments do contribute to paying for abortions.

Wednesday's Smart Talk examines efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.  Our guests are Diane Gramley, President of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania and Sari Stevens, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates.               

Earlier this week, the White House panel examining the nation's opioid epidemic asked President Trump to declare a national public health emergency to combat the ongoing crisis.  Normally, public health emergencies are reserved for natural disasters but that's how bad the opioid crisis has gotten. 

WITF's Transforming Health reporter Ben Allen has closely covered this issue the last few years and joins us to provide updates on several fronts.

emails

- I have a problem with your guest stating planned parenthoods goal is to make money. Is there a mission statement or a goal statement saying that is their goal or is her issue just that they are not a non-profit organization?

I would like her to supply proof, other than the fact that they did make a profit, that their goal is to make a profit off of abortion.                                                 - anon

- Your guest alleged that Planned Parenthood "targeted" African American women because so many of their facilities are in poor neighborhoods. She does not acknowledge that Planned Parenthood provides services in poor neighborhoods where other providers will not go. Women of color in poor neighborhoods have less access to birth control making them more vulnerable to an unintended pregnancy. Also, the "just say no" method of birth control is unrealistic and ineffective.                         - Deb, Carlisle

- My great-grandmother's death certificate reads:

"Abortion. 4 months gestation. Hemorrhage." She was 23 and it was her 6th pregnancy. My grandfather and his sister grew up without a mother, causing psychological harm that scarred our family for generations. A safe legal abortion, or better yet, reliable and free birth control, would have kept that family intact.

As people throw around the idea of defunding Planned Parenthood, they should be aware of what they are doing. This isn't Fantasy Football. These are people's lives.    - anon

- Planned Parenthood was a lifesaver when in graduate school I found a lump in my breast. Uninsured and with no resources  to pay for medical care, I turned to the Carlisle Planned Parenthood. They took care of all the testing and treatment I needed. I am grateful for the compassionate, excellent and free care Planned Parenthood offered me when I needed breast cancer testing, as well as for the many years of low cost family planning services they provided to me.   - anon

- Scott 682,000 out of 500,000,000 is not much of a profit.  Less than one percent                 - Dan

- I am a 60 year-old woman and Planned Parenthood was my source of Woman's Healthcare due to financial reasons from age 18 to 28.

Planned Parenthood's role in my life was never to provide or promote abortion.  I never had any discussions regarding abortion with any of the healthcare providers or educational counsellor's associated with my local Planned Parenthood office.

Planned Parenthood's role in my life was to provide yearly health examines, gynecological screenings, and birth control options.   It was MY decision and choice to become educated and use birth control methods and Planned Parenthood offered just that.  I'd like to point out that Abstentious was an option discussed with my Planned Parenthood counsellor.

The fees I paid or didn't pay were based upon my financial situation and changed on a sliding scale according to my ability to pay.

Even though, my experience with Planned Parenthood was decades ago, I have a very difficult time to believe that abortion is the primary directive of Planned Parenthood.    - Donna

- The planned patenthood

People sre deceiving body.

No gpovernment body can regulate natural inclination.
Morality and just daying No
Are archaic & obsolete for yrs        - Edward

- Knowing the variety of services which are provided by planned parenthood, confidentially and at low or no cost, if these places were completely shut down I would expect to see some or all of the following results:

- increase in teen pregnancy

- increase in unwanted pregnancy among the poor

- increase in sexually transnitted diseases

- increase in overall number of abortions (due to first two items above)

I'd be interested in hearing both guests respond to this

           - Bill

It would take too long to fully detail the ways in which your first speaker has mangled basic facts. However, her response to your question regarding availability of birth control is telling. If you want to reduce the number of abortions, one key element is access to effective birth control -- and yet, many in the anti-abortion movement are equally opposed to access to birth control. This lets you know that women's sexuality (and the control of women's sexuality) is the real underlying issue.               - Deirdre

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