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Planned Parenthood Of Montana Turns 50

Planned Parenthood of Montana
Planned Parenthood of Montana 50th Anniversary icon

Nonprofit sexual health care organization Planned Parenthood of Montana hits its 50th anniversary Saturday.

Planned Parenthood of Montana President and CEO, Martha Stahl, said the organization feels supported in the state, and they look forward to another 50 years of high quality care despite the prospect of federal funding cuts and state level restrictions on abortion.

Stahl said the Trump Administration has finalized a rule change to Title X. The new rule removes federal funding for things like STD prevention and birth control for low-income individuals if an organization provides abortions. According to Planned Parenthood of Montana, Title X had provided the organization with about 10 percent of its funding.

“So, preparing for that and the loss of that funding I think is definitely a challenge for us,” said Stahl. “But it’s a challenge that donors have responded to in a really phenomenal way.”

The organization offers reproductive healthcare in the shape of birth control, STD checks, and pap smears among other things, but Stahl said it’s important to mention abortion in that lineup.

“Because while abortion is a smaller part of what we do, it is the thing that I am most proud of because there are very few other providers in the state of Montana that will do that, and it’s something that patients need, and so making sure that they have access to that care in a way that’s the highest quality and a really good patient experience is really important to us,” said Stahl.

The Montana Legislature is considering several bills which could make it difficult or impossible to get an abortion in the state.  

“And I think at the root of all of those bills, whether we’re talking about the personhood bill or a 20-week ban on an abortion is that at their heart they’re really about interfering between the relationship a patient has with their healthcare provider,” said Stahl. “And we don’t see that interference in other kinds of healthcare services.”

Planned Parenthood of Montana’s 50th anniversary falls on Saturday, and they’re holding a meal and auction in Billings and Missoula.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.