State, federal cuts threaten Family Planning


To the Editor:

This is a crisis — our clinic is at risk.

Family Planning of Martha’s Vineyard has been providing reproductive health care to Island men, women, and teens for nearly three decades. In 2010, our community clinic provided safe, confidential, and affordable care for more than 1,000 clients, greater than eight percent of the total year-round population.This year, the federal government cut funding for Family Planning nationwide by $17 million. This will result in cuts in funding to our agency of between 5.5 percent to 10 percent.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is currently preparing its budget for fiscal year 2012, and there is a real chance that they, too, will make deep cuts to the line item for family planning. The clinic cannot operate without sufficient state and federal funds. Family Planning of Martha’s Vineyard is at risk of closing its doors.

There have been budget cuts in the past, but nothing as drastic as these potential cuts. Reduction in funds from the state on top of the federal cuts could be the death knell for our beloved clinic.

If you support the work of Family Planning of Martha’s Vineyard please let your state senator and representative know. You can reach Senator Daniel Wolf at 617-722-1570, or by e-mail at

Representative Timothy Madden can be reached at 617-722-2810, or by e-mail at

We need your help. Thank you for your support.

Miryam Gerson


For the board of Friends of Family Planning of Martha’s Vineyard, Inc.