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The Poor Suffer Moral Decisions of the Rich

August 03, 1989

The hypocrisy and deceit implicit in the governor's deep cuts in the budget for the Office of Family Planning is so overwhelming that he and those that had a hand in the decision should look in a mirror and see what they have really done.

Again, the poor suffer for moral decisions of the rich. The decision was clearly not one based on financial constraints. Certainly if there is extra money for the Arts Council, there is money for contraceptives for those who need it most. We are not talking about abortion. The Office of Family Planning was created to improve the health of women and their newborns.

Reproductive freedom is an important element in educational, economic and social improvement for the clients of the state's family planning clinics. If they cannot control their family size, they cannot offer to their offspring the same advantages of life. The people who come to our clinics are by and large responsible, thoughtful women seeking to take control of their destinies. Financial assistance for sterilizations will no longer be available, due to the governor's slashes.

The results are predictable. More poverty, more dependence on welfare, diminished health potential for the offspring of the families affected, more unplanned pregnancies. And don't forget: These are not the babies the anti-abortionists are waiting in line to adopt. We have only affected the poor, who are mostly having the Latino and Afro-American babies. The well-to-do white voters are unaffected by this decision.

ROBERT B. LEFKOWITZ, M.D.

Medical Director, Ventura County Family Planning

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