FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2009
Seattle, Wa, JAN 26, 2009 --- The independent web site Abortion in Washington reacted to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s defense of “stimulating the economy with more birth control” by saying, “Speaker Pelosi simply hasn’t looked at the numbers, which clearly show that despite giant subsidies to the state’s single largest supplier of birth control, abortions are up, as are Medicaid funded births. Pumping more deficit spending into birth control would be a disaster for the state’s budget and women.”
Abortion in Washington released several reports in 2008 on the Washington’s Take Charge program and the finances of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (formerly Planned Parenthood of Western Washington). The site reports that the program has led to increased abortion and is costing the state millions in funds it promised it would save. One report shows the number of abortions performed by the program’s leading partner, Planned Parenthood of Western Washington, has been increasing 11% per year and jumped a shocking 16% from 2006 to 2007, to a record 9,059. Additionally, the cost-savings effects intended by the designers of the program are not being realized.
Take Charge is a Medicaid section 1115 Waiver program initiated in 2001 to provide free contraceptives to low-income women not already covered under Medicaid. It was originally funded for 5 years in 2001, then extended for 3 more years, and comes up for renewal in 2009.
When the program began, the state was paying out $200 million a year for childbirth services under Medicaid. That figure has shot up 50%, to $300 million under the program. The state of Washington is now at a point where almost half of all births in the state are paid for by Medicaid.
“We need to put some sanity back in to our state finances as well as our public policy toward women and children,” said Mary Emanuel, assistant publisher of Abortion in Washington.
The state of Washington encourages the widespread use of contraceptives on the theory that with more women using contraceptives the number of unwanted pregnancies will decline, thus leading to a decline in the number of high cost Medicaid-paid births. Contrary to the justification for the program, this has not turned out to be the case. Additionally, further harm has been created because birth control does nothing to prevent the rampant spread of STD’s.