To the Editor:

In response to the Aug. 14 letter in The Spectrum against Planned Parenthood, I did some research.

Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care and maternal and child health services, which are especially beneficial to low-income families and singles who might not otherwise be able to afford this health care.

Its goal is to provide the public with up-to-date and clear information on reproductive health issues.

Planned Parenthood provides health care for both women and men.

Its services for women include vital care for women such as pap tests, cervical and ovarian cancer screenings, breast cancer screenings and treatment of endometriosis. Services for men include colon, prostate and testicular cancer screenings, vasectomies and exams and treament for erectile dysfunction.

Care for the general public includes HIV testing, treatment of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as education about services for both infertility and birth control. Some Planned Parenthood centers even provide general health care services such as cholesterol and diabetes screening, flu vaccines, tetanus shots and high blood pressure screening.

Depending on what report one reads, abortions account for about 3 to 10 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services.

No matter what the percentage is, under the Hyde Amendment, federal funds cannot be appropriated for family planning abortions.

To quote the New England Journal of Medicine, “The contraception services that Planned Parenthod delivers may be the single greatest effort to prevent unwanted pregnancies that result in abortions. We are outraged by those who debase these women, this work, and Planned Parenthood by distorting the facts for political ends.”

I will continue to support Planned Parenthood in its work to provide the public with these many critical preventative health care services.

Janet Hill

Washington