.- Californiaâs budget crisis has prompted Planned Parenthood affiliates to fight proposed rollbacks in state programs which fund the organization. The organization has praised a budget committee for rejecting the proposed cuts and is trying to rally further opposition to budget changes through a publicity campaign.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had proposed to roll back a rate increase for the Family PACT program, the California Catholic Daily reports. It provides free âfamily planningâ services to qualified recipients under the stateâs Medi-Cal system. Though it does not pay for surgical abortions, it provides the âmorning after pill,â a drug some believe to have abortifacient properties.
The governor, announcing the proposed cuts, noted that Health and Human Services is the second-largest part of Californiaâs general fund.
His proposal would have saved $36.8 million by reducing reimbursement rates paid to agencies like Planned Parenthood that provide services under the program. It is reportedly a major source for Planned Parenthoodâs annual revenues.
Planned Parenthood affiliates claimed a preliminary victory in the state legislature. An e-mail to its supporters announced that the Budget Conference Committee had rejected the governorâs proposed cuts to Family PACT, telling its readers âWe could never have passed this hurdle without your help -- it was a huge step in the right direction, but weâre not done yet!â
The rate increases for the program were instated in a 2007 bill advocated by Planned Parenthood in another large publicity campaign. They took effect in 2008, the California Catholic Daily reports.
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, which operates 34 clinics and 35 âsatellite sitesâ in California and Northern Nevada, received 54 percent of its $55.5 million 2005 income from the Family PACT Program. In 2006, 55 percent of its $58.2 million income came from the program.
Planned Parenthood of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley is one affiliate encouraging its supporters to lobby the legislature.
âThe budget is still not final, so we canât let the pressure up now,â it said.
If the Budget Conference Committeeâs proposed budget is approved by a two-thirds vote in the California Assembly and Senate, Gov. Schwarzenegger could still use his line-item veto to remove the Family PACT rate increases.