Local Planned Parenthood supporters prepare for funding fight

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Local Planned Parenthood supporters are mobilizing their base to lobby against a Republican-backed bill which passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

The bill, sponsored by Mike Pence of Indiana, calls for Planned Parenthood funding to be eliminated the rest of this budget year. The total would be more than $300 million.

Patty Dillion, who works for Planned Parenthood, spoke to WBTV during a women's health forum at the Charlotte Convention Center.

"We feel it's reprehensible Congress is focusing this way on a social issue," said Dillion.

Planned Parenthood has an open letter to Congress on its website. The first line says, "How could you?"

So far more than 500,000 women have signed the petition.

Supporter Leigh Yount is working on a masters in healthcare administration. She attended the forum and said she never thought the bill would get to this point.

"It will really hurt, especially women, but they also provide services for men," she said. Yount's biggest concern is for the young and uninsured who may not have other access to healthcare.

Dillion said 90-percent of their services are preventative, including cancer screenings, annual exams, counseling, and birth control. Less than three-percent of their services go toward abortion care, she said.

Federal dollars do not pay for any abortion services, but do fund other services provided by Planned Parenthood.

The bill's next stop is the Democratic-controlled Senate, where passage is much less likely.

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