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Planned Parenthood Celebrates 80 Years, Lawmakers Want Funding Cut

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DALLAS - Planned Parenthood is celebrating 80 years of being open. More than 1,000 people turned out for Thursday's sold-out fundraiser luncheon at the Anatole in Dallas.

“Proceeds go to support our breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV testing, sexually transmitted infection testing,” Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas President/CEO Ken Lambrecht explained.  “This is our largest fundraising event of the year, and it promises to gross $800,000 or so.”

Seems like the fundraiser comes with good timing. While they’re raising dollars here, down the road in Austin, lawmakers are talking about cutting Planned Parenthood’s dollars.

“We have a patient who reached out to us when she heard this program was in jeopardy. Without it, she believes she wouldn't be here today,” VP of Community Affairs Sarah Wheat added.

“We are deeply saddened by actions of the Senate and the aspects of the Senate budget bill to strip away healthcare access to thousands of women in the breast and cervical cancer program,” Lambrecht said.  “Texas, with the highest uninsured population in the country, needs more access to healthcare. Not less. So, we’re incredibly disappointed in the actions of our Senate.”

Just a few feet away, it was a different story.  Folks against Planned Parenthood were holding signs and passing out graphic flyers about people who’ve died after having an abortion -- a service Planned Parenthood provides.

“We’re happy if tax dollars don’t go to murder more children,”  protester Laura Ulfsparre said.  “We want to make people aware of how abortion kills, and we’re just praying to save souls.”

“Regardless of what your views are on women’s health, I think something we can all agree on is that uninsured women deserve access to treatment for breast and cervical cancer screening,” Wheat said.

Now, Texas will have to see. Will Texas lawmakers agree?