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Health and Medicine

Stark United Way wraps up Planned Parenthood funding
Canton council resolution to intervene fails

In The Region:
Stark County’s United Way stop funding Planned Parenthood next year and a resolution asking them to do so was defeated at Canton City Council’s meeting Monday night.

In 2010, one of Stark County’s biggest charities, United Way, decided to change its 40-year funding relationship with Planned Parenthood. United Way would continue special funding until March 31, 2013, allowing Planned Parenthood time to find alternative sources.

Some Canton City Council members tried this week to change United Way’s mind. They didn’t succeed.

Mary Cirelli was among those who backed the resolution for United Way to continue the funding.


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"It was not an attack at all on United Way. That organization performs an invaluable community service. Actually the resolution was just singly trying to get them to reconsider their decision.” 

Cirelli says she worries about people too poor to find alternatives. 

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“There are women out there who need health care that can’t afford it. I certainly don’t want to see these people do without, if we save one life through their cancer screenings. Anything we can do to help women.” 

Sarah Hayden is spokeswoman for United Way and  says donors can still give directly to Planned Parenthood. She also says United Way could continue support when needed. 

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“If they do come to us and say we need some help and there might be gaps in care, we will certainly be open to having a community discussion about resolving that.”

Hayden says United Way worked to find the solution that best reflected the communities wishes. 
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“Volunteers and donors are at the heart of what United Way does positively in this community and we appreciate being able to work with our community members for the betterment of all.” 

Stark County’s United Way has provided $140,000 a year to Planned Parenthood for each of the last two years.

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