There was a huge victory for women’s health yesterday in Olympia! Both chambers of the state Legislature released their 2010 supplemental budget proposals, and both reinstate at least $3 million in critical family planning funding. Pro-choice activists sent thousands of emails, made hundreds of phone calls, and traveled to Olympia by the busload to urge legislators to reinstate family planning funding in the supplemental budget, and it worked! This is great news – but not so fast. The Senate budget included $3.5 million – $500,000 more than the House budget, and this means our work is not quite done.
$500,000 may not seem like much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. But when you look at the numbers in terms of savings AND sense, it seems like a lot. The difference represents 2,083 patients and 504 unintended pregnancies prevented – saving taxpayers about $1.8 million. Now that just makes “cents.”
Clearly our efforts are paying off, but we’re not quite past the finish line yet. Contact your legislators and urge them to fund family planning at the Senate level in the final budget. As things progress, we’ll keep you posted!