Tue May 10, 2011
Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma --- Reviewing the Facts, Clarifying the Fictions
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Amid today's heated political climate, both locally and nationally, Planned Parenthood is probably the one non-profit organization that's most often targeted for cuts in funding --- even more so than public broadcasting (and that's saying something). On today's StudioTulsa, we speak with Nancy Kachel, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. She tells us that, at the Oklahoma State Legislature, a bill is now in conference committee due to a proposed amendment that would prevent Planned Parenthood (as well as eight other social service organizations across our state) from administering federally-provided WIC funds to poor women, infants, and children here in Oklahoma. In fact, as Kachel explains, providing WIC funds is an important part of what Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma actually does. Moreover, and despite widespread misunderstanding on this point, one thing Kachel's organization does not do is provide abortions. Rather, Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, per its mission statement, is "dedicated to ensuring healthy sexuality, family health, and access to high quality sexual and reproductive health care, through education, advocacy, and the provision of direct services." Therefore, they will offer referrals on this matter, upon request for such, just as they'll offer contraceptives, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, etc. But again, they do not actually provide abortions. On today's edition of our program, Kachel sets the record straight --- and in doing so emphasizes the work that her organization does for not just women, men, and families, but for our society's needy children. (For more information, please go to www.ppaeo.org.) Also on today's show, our commentator Ian Shoales has a few thoughts about The Birthers, The Donald, and the whole insipid non-issue that brought these two forces together (and brought the White House to request a certain "long-form birth certificate" from the State of Hawaii).