It's time to insert a few facts into the editorial page letters about Planned Parenthood.
For more than a half a century, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, the Planned Parenthood affiliate in South Carolina, has served as an essential community health care provider, making sure that those with and without health insurance have equal access to high-quality preventative health care like annual exams, lifesaving cancer screenings such as Pap smears and clinical breast exams, birth control, and sexually transmitted disease treatment and prevention.
With health centers in Columbia and Charleston, they serve almost 5,000 women, men and teens every year. Aside from providing compassionate, nonjudgmental care, they play a critical role in protecting public health in our state, providing thousands of screenings for STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV each year.
In addition to providing essential medical services, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic runs community education programs, making sure that young people have access to the age-appropriate information they need to make lifelong responsible decisions.
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One in five American women will visit Planned Parenthood at some point in her lifetime. In simple terms, what makes Planned Parenthood controversial to some is that they believe that every woman has the right to make deeply personal decisions for herself. Because I believe this is a South Carolina value, I urge you to support the work of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.