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Planned Parenthood official: Fight for WIC funds in Tulsa will continue

BY JILL JUNE Published: October 13, 2012

“Agency on solid footing with WIC contract choice” (Our Views, Oct. 9) contained little of the reality of what Planned Parenthood stands for and the work it does daily in Oklahoma with families. Yes, this includes women with children.

For the past 18 years, Planned Parenthood has been a provider for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in the Tulsa area, serving thousands of women and children. Taking WIC from Planned Parenthood was a political maneuver by some Oklahoma politicians to defund the organization. It came on the heels of attempts by the Legislature to reallocate state funding away from nonprofit organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

That legislation failed — as it should have. Now, with just one week's notice and only vague details, the state decided not to renew our WIC contract. Planned Parenthood was the only WIC provider in Tulsa County not to get a renewed contract.

Planned Parenthood's top priority is ensuring that women continue to have access to WIC services without interruption from a provider that they know and they trust. More than 50 percent of all infants born in Oklahoma get WIC services. How does eliminating the number of service sites help these infants?

Many Oklahoma families are struggling financially; eliminating three sites that provide more than 38,000 WIC visits annually would only make it harder for these women and their children to meet their basic food needs.

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