Planned Parenthood works to fight Zika despite battle in Congress over funding

Posted at 11:39 PM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 04:18:50-04
As the battle for Zika funding continues on Capitol Hill, ironically Planned Parenthood caught in the middle of this funding bill is working hard to fight Zika.
Planned Parenthood canvassers are going door to door in Miami neighborhoods distributing Zika information and materials in English, Spanish and Creole.
If you go door to door to talk to residents about the Zika virus, you may be surprised at what they don't know.
"I haven't heard anything about it," said a Lake Worth resident who said his first name was Stanley.
"Oh yeah, I've seen on the news it's bad for mosquitoes," said Juana Arana of Lake Worth. "Do you know what the virus can do?" asked WPTV Reporter Michelle Quesada. "Oh, I don't know know, because I don't speak English very good.
Lillian Tamayo is the CEO of Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida. She says she is shocked to learn how many people don't know the virus can be sexually transmitted. The organization has vowed to knock on 25-thousand doors in Miami neighborhoods impacted by Zika. They already have reached  7,000 households.
"We're providing women with the necessary information and education that they need to be able to prevent Zika transmission to be able to plan their pregnancies," said Tamayo.

That door to door effort by Planned Parenthood hasn't started in our community, but Tamayo does not rule it out.

"Palm Beach County is very much one of those counties that we are looking at for the future," added Tamayo.

Already our local health department is going door to door in affected communities in Palm Beach County, but there are still so many residents not being reached. Miranda Cruz of Lake Worth says she's grateful for the Zika kits the Health Department passed out in her neighborhood.

"It is scary for women who don't protect themselves or don't know," said Cruz.

Planned Parenthood does provide Zika information to couples and women during their counseling sessions.

Tamay says she would like to see Congress put healthcare and women's needs first during this bi-partisan battle for Zika funding.
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