New health care plan: 'Direct attack on low income people'

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COLUMBIA - A study has found increasing the use of effective contraceptives could save the United States billions and reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies significantly. 

Planned Parenthood and Child Trends, a non-profit child health research organization, partnered in the study to analyze the influence of effective contraceptives.

The research found that if women have access to a full spectrum of contraceptives, this would reduce the number of unintended pregnancies by 64 percent, unintended births by 63 percent, abortions by 67 percent and a total annual savings of $12 billion dollars annually. 

The defunding of Planned Parenthood continues to be a hot topic, especially in the wake of the new American Health Care Act which, if passed, will cut Planned Parenthood funding through Medicaid.

Aside from abortion, this cut would affect other services Planned Parenthood provides such as STD tests, cancer screenings, and birth control. 

Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, director of communication at Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said the cut is an attack. 

"This is a direct and discriminatory attack against the lowest income patients in the state of Missouri and across the country," Lee-Gilmore said. "We're talking about blocking patients from coming into our health centers to get preventive care like sexually transmitted infections testing, cancer screening, birth control, and annual exams."

According to the Guttmacher Institute, every $1 spent on family planning services saves $7.09 in taxpayer-funded health care in Missouri. 

"When access to birth control is affordable and attainable for patients, the basics state level tax payer funded health care goes down," Lee-Gilmore said.

Sam Saffa, spokesman for Choose Life Missouri, a pro-life organization, said Choose Life Missouri does not oppose Planned Parenthood's health services. 

"What we do object is Planned Parenthood's gross misrepresentation, gross disrespect for human life and the massive abortions that are happening all across the United States, Saffa said.

He said because of Planned Parenthood's 'diregard for human life in the earliest and most innocent form', he does not stand behind them receiving any funding.

"We're firing on them because they've fired on our most innocent people," Staffa said. "The reason that Planned Parenthood is drawing fire from President Trump and the Republican Party is because of the mass level of abortions they've provided to the country."