Planned Parenthood Finds Friendly Ground in California

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Offices of Planned Parenthood in Burbank. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Republican-dominated Congress in Washington, D.C., has threatened to pull federal funding from Planned Parenthood by cutting grants and Medicaid reimbursements to the organization.

But the nonprofit is on much friendlier terms with California’s Democratic-controlled state government.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards met with state Senate Democrats on Tuesday. She summed up her discussion with senators about how the state could be affected if Planned Parenthood loses federal funding.

"Just about the status of the health care delivery that we provide across the state of California at Planned Parenthood," she said. "And also the real threats that exist based on some of the moves in Washington to now end access to Planned Parenthood’s health care services."

Richards says the services put at risk by federal action would actually be preventive care, such as STI testing and treatment, not abortion services.

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California is viewed as an ally by Planned Parenthood. Richards says the state has been on the cutting edge of reproductive rights for decades, including requiring health insurers to cover birth control.

“This was one of the leading states that began that. And of course now it’s covered for 55 million women under the Affordable Care Act," she says.

Planned Parenthood says it serves about 850,000 men and women in California each year at 115 health centers.