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Sun, Sept. 15

Learn consequences of family planning budget cuts

The League of Women Voters of Central Yavapai County will host a panel of speakers for a discussion on the wide-ranging impact that cutting funding to Title X programs would have on women in Arizona and the nation at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, in the downstairs meeting room at Las Fuentes Retirement Village, 1035 Scott Drive, Prescott. Coffee served at 10 a.m.

A proposed bill to eliminate Title X Family Planning would deny 4 million women access to health care services. Statistics indicate 60 percent of women who rely on a Title X center consider it their primary source of medical care. The proposed bill also would cut funding to teen pregnancy prevention.

The issues of reproductive rights and access to low-cost healthcare for poor women, men and families has become a hot topic on the national stage. One in five women have visited Planned Parenthood for healthcare, ranging from Pap smears and breast exams to birth control. While no government money is spent on abortions, politicians cite abortion services as a reason to defund the group.

The speakers include Jane Chapman, reproductive health program manager and clinician with Yavapai County Community Health Services; Kelly Dupps, public policy manager for Planned Parenthood Arizona; Desiree Perez, regional health coordinator with Northern Arizona Planned Parenthood Arizona; and Bré Thomas, CEO of Arizona Family Health Partnership.

Chapman has worked in Prescott for 30 years as a provider of family planning services and manager of Title X funds. She has worked for Yavapai County Community Health Services since April 2010, is a graduate of the Prescott Area Leadership Pioneer Class, 1990-91, and a Primavera School Board member for 22 years.

Dupps has nearly 20 years of experience as a professional community and political organizer throughout the United States, working on issues ranging from education policy to animal protection, and from reproductive justice to equality for all.

Perez started work at Planned Parenthood Arizona in May 2014, but her support of the organization began nearly a decade earlier as a patient and later as a volunteer. She also worked with Environment California and held a volunteer producer position with KPFK public radio in Los Angeles.

Thomas leads the largest Title X grantee in Arizona. Title X is the federal government's only dedicated funding source for family planning services. Her previous experience includes two decades of management experience with state agencies, the Governor's Office, nonprofits and electoral campaigns. Specifically, she worked in state government for seven years in behavioral health and human services, and as the Women's Health Policy adviser in Governor Napolitano's Office. She also has worked at the Arizona House of Representatives; Congressional and gubernatorial campaigns in New Jersey, Alabama and Arizona; and for the Arizona State Senate, and for a Member of Parliament for the British House of Commons.

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