Planned Parenthood funding fight could affect LI women

The fight over cutting funding for Planned Parenthood is leaving women on Long Island who use the organization's services anxious and angry.

Janet Moore, of St. Dominic's parish in Oyster Bay, spends every Friday in front of the Planned Parenthood center of Nassau County in Hempstead protesting the group's abortion services.

That argument spans from the streets of Hempstead to Capitol Hill, where conservatives have threatened to shut down the government if Planned Parenthood does not get its funding cut.

JoAnn Smith, the president and CEO of Nassau's Planned Parenthood, says the move will hurt Long Island's lower-income population, which is in need of health care.

"It is quite outrageous that Congress is focused on defunding the most trusted women's health provider in this country," Smith says.

Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care including contraceptives, cancer screenings, sex education and abortions.

The nonprofit says it receives more than $300,000 in federal funds each year and serves more than 14,000 Long Island patients. The program's future may be decided next Thursday, when Congress is expected to hold its crucial budget vote.

Conservatives argue that federal funds should not be used to provide abortions. However, Smith says that when a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy, their own money is used, not federal dollars.

Planned Parenthood recently came under scrutiny after video surfaced appearing to show that it was harvesting fetus organs for profit. The group says the videos were manipulated.

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