A recent amendment in the Oklahoma State Legislature was passed in the house which would cut funding for Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) health programs at 9 Oklahoma Independent WIC Clinics including Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, Inc. (PPAEO) in Tulsa.
During debate, the focus was STRICTLY FOCUSED ON DEFUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD.
This effort represents an extreme political attack that would have a devastating impact on thousands of Oklahoma families. Our fear is the bill is going back to committee to be amended to zero in on WIC funding for PPAEO only!
WIC is a program that provides women, infants and children free nutrition education and vouchers which can be used to purchase WIC-approved foods. Of the 76,000 visits made in Tulsa County last year by WIC recipients to independent contractor sites, 42,000 of them were to Planned Parenthood sites. Over 9,300 Tulsa County individuals are served by the Planned Parenthood WIC program.
If SB 709 as amended is passed the women, babies and children now receiving nutritional support at the same convenient location they receive their healthcare services will be Oklahoma victims of a larger debate in which they are not involved. They did not have an abortion. They had their babies. They need help in feeding and caring for their babies or they would not qualify for the WIC program.
This sort of discriminatory legislation, striking at the wrong target, serves only to make the Oklahoma legislature, and the state it represents, look extremist, reckless and uncaring for women and children.
Please call your Representative and your Senator today and ask them to vote against SB 709!
Check out these articles from The Huffington Post, care2.com, and the Tulsa World.