I’m deeply troubled by the continued attacks on women’s access to reproductive health care. My own congressman, Daniel Lipinski, has a long-standing history of voting to “defund” Planned Parenthood. What defunding means: Medicaid would no longer reimburse Planned Parenthood for health services. What that means to me should it ever happen, as a Medicaid recipient: Loss of access to quality reproductive health care.
In a recent meeting with Representative Lipinski, I was provided a list of Federally Qualified Health Centers as alternative places for women’s health care. In addition to significant waitlists and lack of full range of birth control options, I also came across … a dentist.
I asked my congressman if he had ever visited a Planned Parenthood facility, to which he replied he hadn’t. It is mind-boggling to me that any members of Congress would consistently vote for a “defund” when they haven’t ever step a foot inside one of the facilities to learn about the wide array of services provided.
Planned Parenthood was there for me when I faced barriers accessing the birth control method I wanted at an FQHC. It’s time our elected officials personally familiarize themselves before voting to take health care away from those who need it the most.
— Renee Wsol, Chicago