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Right-wing philanthropist opposes GOP’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood

Richard Mellon Scaife, billionaire newspaper publisher and right-wing philanthropist Sunday came out strongly in opposition to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.

He writes that women must have control of their own bodies and that depriving poor women and teenagers of family planning services is not only wrong but counterproductive.

From his column in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives — urged on by conservatives opposed to abortion — has voted to defund Planned Parenthood. On this issue, Republicans and conservatives are dead wrong.

My grandmother was a friend and a supporter of Margaret Sanger, one of America’s earliest, most effective advocates of birth control.

I met Sanger several times before her death in 1966 and was impressed by her intellect and her commitment to many issues, not the least of which was enabling every woman to be “the absolute mistress of her own body,” as she put it.

Now the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives — urged on by conservatives opposed to abortion — has voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

On this issue, Republicans and conservatives are dead wrong.

Abortions are a minor aspect of Planned Parenthood’s mission to provide reproductive health care, education and other services to Americans, regardless of income.

More than 90 percent of its work focuses on preventing unintended pregnancies that almost inevitably lead to unwanted, neglected and abused children.

Of course, no one wants teenagers to get pregnant. Yet far too many do — and they need reliable, honest advice about what to do next. For many of them, Planned Parenthood is the only reliable source of that advice. For many others, Planned Parenthood is the only safe, reliable source of counseling to avoid getting pregnant in the first place.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Action Fund today announced a television advertising campaign highlighting the story of a woman, whose cancer was detected by a pap smear done at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

“Carolyn’s story is the story of women we see every year,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “The proposal to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for preventive health care would have a devastating impact on women like Carolyn. That’s why we are urging the Senate to reject this extreme proposal.”

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