Posted: Aug 1, 2012 5:38 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: Aug 2, 2012 6:57 AM
HELENA- Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana organized several rallies around the state on Wednesday, saying Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) is launching an attack against women's health.
Rehberg is proposing to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, stop the government from paying for contraceptives, and eliminate the budget for Title X.
But, Public Affairs Director Stacey Anderson says Title X should not be controversial.
"It is all preventative care. It's cancer screenings for women, it's birth control for women, it's their annual exam, it's STD testing and treatment," Anderson says. "The Title X program: he just doesn't propose cuts, he shuts it down."
However, the other protesters lining the street say Rehberg's proposal protects their religious freedom.
Montana Republican Party Executive Director Bowen Greenwood says government should not be in the business of subsidizing these programs.
"If a person wants to use birth control that's their choice. If a person wants to use Planned Parenthood, that's their choice," Greenwood says. "But forcing a person to pay for another person's birth control is just wrong."
The protest is timely, because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services just announced one more provision of the Affordable Care Act is going into effect.
Rehberg's spokesman Jed Link issued this statement:
"Denny's open door policy resulted in more than 100 meeting as he crafted this bill, most of them with Montanans. It's clear that public funding for Planned Parenthood is a controversial subject, and that's why it's wrong to force taxpayers to fund a private organization that they morally oppose."
Insurance companies must cover eight new prevention services: Well-woman visits; Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases; Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling; FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling; Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older; Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women; and HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women