"Planned Parenthood provided birth control for more that 2 million people last year, 75 percent of those at income levels entitling them to subsidized women’s health care," Sheila Hagar reports for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. "A 2015 federal report predicted if government funding for birth control goes away, unintended pregnancies could cost taxpayers more than $100 million over the course of a decade."
In southeast Washington state, for example, "999 people received family planning at the local Planned Parenthood clinic in 2014," Hagar writes. "Within that group, 62 percent used a federal program was designed to ensure low-income or uninsured people can access family planning services at reduced or no cost. One in five local patients was eligible for free or reduced-cost care, and nearly half were between ages 18-25," said Tiffany Harms, spokeswoman for Greater Washington and North Idaho Planned Parenthood.
Fear of losing Planned Parenthood, which offers pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, testing and treatment for sexually-transmitted disease, birth control—including condoms—and medication-induced abortions, has led to sharp increases in appointments, Hagar writes. Nationally, there was a 900 percent increase in demand for intrauterine devices after the presidential election. In Walla Walla, "the regional Planned Parenthood network saw a 71 percent overall increase in appointments for long-acting, reversible contraception procedures since the election. Walla Walla appointments for all services shot up by nearly 50 percent," Harms said.