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Defunding Planned Parenthood could have devastating impact on Connecticut

NEW HAVEN -- As they craft a measure to attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are pushing to fully defund Planned Parenthood, which has its Southern New England headquarters in New Haven.

If Republicans get their way, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England would lose more than $5 million dollars in annual federal funding.

"These are patients who rely on us," said Judy Tabar, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southern New England. "We are often the only healthcare provider they will see all year."

The organization notes they're not all about abortions. In fact, they are not permitted to use federal money for most abortions. They say 94 percent of their services rendered, in Southern New England, are for other healthcare needs.

"It's a great service," said Nikia Giles of New Haven, who's been a Planned Parenthood patient for nearly three year. "They have STD testing, pregnancy and birth control programs."

Planned Parenthood serves nearly 64,000 patients in Connecticut, with nearly half on Medicaid. They would lose their services if defunding efforts succeed.

"Planned Parenthood is a very necessary place," said Kathi Lawton, a mother of three girls. "So, I personally would like my tax dollars to go to Planned Parenthood."

In a report issued by the Guttmacher Institute, it is noted that for every $1 invested in family planning, it saves $7 of other healthcare costs.

"I think it's unfortunate for the Republicans to decide for half the population what we need," said Lawton.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that fully defunding Planned Parenthood would cost taxpayers nationally over $130 million because 45% of all births are paid for by Medicaid.

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal are among those citing that 69% of American voters, including 56% of Republicans, support Planned Parenthood.

"We know from a study that 48% of people, who voted for Trump, are not in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood, said Tabar, who adds that Planned Parenthood Southern New England has helped reduce teen births in Connecticut by 50% over the last decade.