Statement from Stacy M. Cross, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette:
"We are here for our patients, no matter what. For the women, men and young people we serve, the care we provide isn't about politics - it's about their well-being, and we remain focused on ensuring our patients are able to access the health care we provide in a safe and caring environment.
"These protests are designed to shame the patients who seek basic healthcare services from Planned Parenthood and to intimidate the healthcare professionals who work here. Women should be able to get health care without fear of violence, harassment or intimidation.
"Each year, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette provides 72,000 patient visits for women, men and young people seeking quality, affordable reproductive health care. If Planned Parenthood is defunded, those patients would be blocked from accessing birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood health centers. That's not what Oregonians want, and that's why we're seeing so many folks in Portland and across the country standing up and fighting for access to health care.
"In addition, the term 'defunding' Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. There is no blank check that Planned Parenthood gets from the federal government, and it's not in the budget. Instead, the legislation prevents millions of women who rely on Medicaid from accessing the healthcare provider they've been depending on for decades. This policy also has nothing to do with abortion - it instead cuts women off from cancer screenings, birth control, and HIV and STI testing and treatment.
"New polling shows that voters overwhelmingly support Planned Parenthood: 62 percent of voters are opposed to defunding Planned Parenthood, while only 31 percent of voters support it. And when those voters are informed what 'defunding' Planned Parenthood actually means, only 12 percent of voters support defunding Planned Parenthood, according to Quinnipiac."
"It's clear that the vast majority of Americans do not want, and will not stand to see, reproductive health and rights attacked. We saw that when millions marched around the world for the women's march, and we're seeing that now, with hundreds of events cropping up across the country in support of Planned Parenthood health centers and the care they provide to 2.5 million patients each year. These are being driven on the local level, by energized activists who know the critical services we provide in their communities," says Jimmy Radosta, Media Relations Director for Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette.
"We are grateful for the incredible outpouring of love and support we've been seeing in Oregon and across the country. Our first priority is always to serve our patients, and ensure they can get the high-quality, often lifesaving care that Planned Parenthood health centers provide. To that end, we do ask anyone wishing to show support for Planned Parenthood and our work not to rally outside of a health center. These rallies can often be intimidating, and can inadvertently prevent patients from getting the care they need. Instead we encourage supporters to attend one of Congressman Greg Walden's town halls today in Eastern Oregon, or the Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon Lobby Day Rally at noon Tuesday, February 28th on the Capitol steps in Salem."