Colorado County Nixes Funds for Planned Parenthood Cervical Cancer Program

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Colorado County Nixes Funds for Planned Parenthood Cervical Cancer Program

Jason Salzman

In explaining his vote to withdraw the funds for a local health center, a Republican county commissioner cited “very political” emails from Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado.

Commissioners representing a county in Colorado’s central mountains have withdrawn 2016 funding for a cervical cancer prevention program at a local Planned Parenthood health center.

Planned Parenthood’s Glenwood Springs Health Center was slated to receive a Department of Human Services grant of $1,500 next year, but Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky persuaded his fellow lawmakers to pull the money due to “very partisan and very political” emails he’s received from Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado (PPVC), according to a report in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

Jankovsky, a Republican, did not return calls for information about the emails.

“I receive emails that I find to be very partisan, and very political, and I’m no longer comfortable with this organization,” he told the the Post Independent.

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“Our human services grant recipients are not supposed to be political, and this group is very political,” Jankovsky said.

PPVC is a separate entity from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, which runs the Glenwood Springs Health Center.

Commissioners John Martin and Mike Samson joined Jankovsky in voting against funding the Planned Parenthood health center.

Planned Parenthood officials expressed disappointment with the commissioners’ funding decision and noted that the Glenwood Springs Health Center has received county funding for more than 30 years and that funding is specifically allocated to its cervical cancer prevention services.

“Planned Parenthood is committed to the people of Garfield County and will continue to provide compassionate, nonjudgmental care, proudly, to the people of Garfield County and the entire state of Colorado, where we serve over 80,000 patients annually,” Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, told the Post Independent.

Martin and Samson nixed a $5,000 grant for Planned Parenthood in 2012 in a 2-1 vote, with Jankowski opposing them. Jankowski said in 2012 that he’d voted to give the money to the women’s health organization partly because of his constituents’ support for Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood donors contributed $6,000 to replace the lost county grant in the months following the 2012 defunding.

Martin and Samson, both Republicans, made news in 2011 for opening commission meetings with a prayer.