FEDERAL THREATS to cut funding for health care — particularly family planning services for women — have already hit a target close to home.
The Women’s Community Clinic, at 1833 Fillmore Street, recently lost a $250,000 federal grant it had depended on for years and is now facing the biggest budget shortfall in its 18-year history.
At the same time, the financial squeeze has increased the demand for services.
“Women are streaming into the clinic for birth control and other types of care because they genuinely fear they soon won’t be able to get it,” said Tara Medve, development and communications director of the clinic. “People are in the freakout stage. There’s been a huge rise in fear and anxiety.”
The clinic is scrambling to find alternative funding sources and has launched an intensive fundraising campaign that runs through the middle of the month.
“We are doing everything we can to reassure and support our clients during this scary and uncertain time,” said Carlina Hansen, the clinic’s executive director.
The Fillmore clinic provides primary medical care and mental health care to low-income women and girls 12 and older. It currently serves about 5,000 clients each year, 90 percent of whom earn $25,000 or less. In addition to providing medical services, the clinic also runs a number of community health programs.
The administration’s proposed targets — cuts to the Affordable Care Act, Medi-Cal and especially to Title X — pose additional threats to the clinic’s ability to function. If an initiative to eliminate Title X funds takes effect, the clinic stands to lose an additional $150,000 from its operating budget, Hansen said.
The Women’s Community Clinic has launched an emergency campaign to raise $250,000 from individuals, foundations and corporate sponsors by April 14. For more information, visit the clinic’s website.