U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., has effectively taken away the rights of millions of women by fabricating a lie about needing to restrict Planned Parenthood from using federal money to fund abortions.

Planned Parenthood does not use federal money for abortions.

That didn’t stop the U.S. House from pulling all funding from the group that helps millions of women get tested for HIV/AIDS, make informed decisions about their health care and, yes, sometimes get an abortion — without the use of federal funds.

I am appalled that these lawmakers are using their personal objections to threaten women’s health care. Remove the abortion element and Planned Parenthood is still an amazing organization worthy of federal funding.

I thank Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Mike Michaud for standing up for women and women’s right to make choices about their own bodies.

The United States should not be restricting access to screenings for HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and making it more difficult for women to get the affordable prenatal care they need.

The issue had nothing to do with federally subsidized abortions and, even if it did, the good work Planned Parenthood provides communities will be missed terribly.

Stacy Dostie, Sabattus

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