By Randy Salgado, UW News Lab / Special to CHS
The uproar over federal reimbursements for medical visits to Planned Parenthood took a local turn again on Monday when the Seattle City Council voted to symbolically support Planned Parenthood in recognizing the vital role it provides in health care in the city.
The full Seattle City Council affirmed and adopted Resolution 31624 during its regular meeting Monday.
“They serve an average of 100,000 women and men in the state of Washington each year in providing medical services,” said Seattle City Council president Tim Burgess. “Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider.”
Planned Parenthood provides a spectrum of health care access to the community, including cancer screenings, birth control for men and women, and emergency contraceptives. Passing the resolution means the city of Seattle has officially taken a position in solidarity with the organization.
“When I was much younger, me and my wife used Planned Parenthood for health care services and it was a time when affordable healthcare was hard to do,” said Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien.
Council member Kshama Sawant said the city will look into allocating resources every year for the most urgent medical needs of women, LGBTQ community and people of color, including some funds to Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood also delivers a whole spectrum of healthcare for women,” Sawant told CHS following the vote. “This is also an issue of access to healthcare to low income women, trans community, and the LGBTQ community in general.”
Earlier, CHS reported on how losing funding at a federal level could have a direct impact on the services available at the two Central Seattle clinics.
Low income earners rely on affordable health care services from institutions like Planned Parenthood, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
In 2014, the 21st and E. Madison Planned Parenthood served more than 6,000 patients, including more than 1,500 beneath the federal poverty line, according to the clinic.
Abortions are one of the many health care services Planned Parenthood provides. With the resolution Monday, the council affirmed its support for this important reproductive health care.
“I remember the days when abortions were illegal everywhere in the country,” Council member Jean Godden said. “It was [a] very difficult experience and I believe we can not go back to those days.”
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