Planned Parenthood Candidate Questionnaire
The Planned Parenthood questionnaire allows candidates only one of two answers to each question: "Support" or "Oppose". Although I agree with much of Planned Parenthood's program, I could not answer "Support" or "Oppose" to many of the questions:
1. Right to Choose: Planned Parenthood believes that women have the right to obtain a medically safe, legal abortion under the standards set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade decision. Do you support or oppose this position?
2. Planned Parenthood: Each year, Planned Parenthood health centers provide services and counseling to more than 600,000 Californians. Through important state funded programs such as Family PACT, Expanded Access to Primary Care and the Breast Cancer Early Detection Program, Planned Parenthood provides services to low-income clients, including contraceptive services, prenatal care, cancer screening, and the testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. These funds do not pay for abortions. Nevertheless, some people want to stop Planned Parenthood from providing valuable health care services through state-funded programs because we use our own privately raised funds and Medi-Cal funds to provide abortion services, and privately raised funds to advocate for changes in abortion laws. Do you support or oppose continued public funding for services provided by Planned Parenthood?
Many Californians have strong anti-abortion beliefs, and have every right, as citizens and taxpayers, to object to their taxes being used to fund an organization that engages in activities they deeply oppose.
Personally, I applaud Planned Parenthood's work and encourage them to move towards paying for all their activities with privately-raised funds. By doing so, they could free themselves from the very political hassling that this question describes while helping to de-politicize the abortion controversy.
3. Funding For Family Planning: Each year more than 1 million low-income women and men in California receive family planning services from the state Family PACT program. These services fill an unmet need for women who often have inadequate or no health insurance. Services offered at these clinics include: contraceptive services; family planning counseling; pelvic and breast exams; screening for anemia, diabetes, and high blood pressure; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases; safer sex counseling, basic infertility screening; and referrals for specialized health care. Would you support or oppose continued funding for basic reproductive health care services?
Same answer as the previous question.
4. Comprehensive Sex Education: Despite the fact that 84% of Americans support comprehensive, age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education, efforts are made by some members of the state legislature to allocate millions of dollars for abstinence-only sex education, that excludes any mention of contraception, family planning or disease prevention. Do you support or oppose the teaching of age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education including information about both abstinence and contraception in public schools?
5. Hospital Mergers: As community hospitals merge with religiously affiliated hospitals, many women are faced with reduced access to reproductive health care services. Do you support or oppose requiring health facilities that accept state funds to provide, or refer for, full-scope reproductive health care services?
The State of California should not be offering funds to religiously-affiliated hospitals.
6. Emergency Contraception: Emergency contraception is a high dose combination of oral contraceptives that, if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, can safely prevent a pregnancy from occurring. All California women, including victims of rape being treated at hospital emergency rooms, should have emergency contraception available to them. Do you support or oppose efforts to expand access to emergency contraception?
7. Right To Choose/Fight Bans On Abortion: Anti-choice organizations have tried to erode the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that ensures a woman's constitutionally protected right to choose by trying to ban specific abortion procedures. One such attempt was the campaign on the so-called "partial birth" abortion procedure. Do you support or oppose a woman's right to choose the abortion method most likely to preserve her health, in consultation with her physician, and free from government interference?
8. Confidential Health Services: Planned Parenthood believes that minors, as well as adults, should have confidential access to reproductive health services, including family planning, disease prevention, and abortion. Would you support minors' access to confidential health services by voting against government-mandated parental involvement in a minor's reproductive health care or oppose the minors' access to confidential health services?
9. Stop Clinic Violence: In recent years, a campaign of violence, intimidation, and harassment has been waged against Reproductive health providers, patients, and their families. Planned Parenthood believes the state government should take an agressive role in enacting and enforcing laws to deter these illegal acts, and in prosecuting the perpetrators of such acts. Do you support or oppose the enactment and enforcement of laws that help prevent violence, intimidation and harassment directed at reproductive health providers, their patients, and their families?
Support (enforcement). Oppose (enacting new laws).
We already have laws against violence, intimidation, and harassment. Politicians who pass laws outlawing acts that are already illegal are pandering for votes.
10. Abortion Access: There are bills and amendments proposed each year in the state legislature that single out women, especially low-income and poor women, attempting to restrict their access to legal abortions. These restrictions come in the form of mandated waiting periods; so-called informed consent requirements; and limits on state funding of abortion services. Would you support access to abortion services by voting against such restrictions or oppose access to abortion services?
Thanks to Planned Parenthood Advocates for permission to quote this questionnaire.