The Virginia House of Delegates voted on Tuesday to defund Planned Parenthood. The bill, which the governor has already promised to veto, would cut off federal Title X funding for Planned Parenthood and any other groups that perform abortions in the state. In voting to defund the organization, legislators are endangering the health of thousands of Virginians. Planned Parenthood clinics provide family planning services and contraceptive care to thousands of Virginians each year. Doing away with these clinics would put the health of these individuals at risk and deprive low-income patients in particular of essential and accessible healthcare services. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan suggested reallocating public funding towards federal community health centers as the best alternative to Planned Parenthood. While these centers provide many of the same services, excluding abortion, national health officials have said they will not be able to take on the extra patients, especially in areas where services don’t overlap. In rural areas, for instance, community health centers often deny family planning services and fail to offer sliding pay scales to lower-income individuals. Defunding Planned Parenthood in Virginia would drastically lower accessibility to essential healthcare services and put a strain on a healthcare system which is already under pressure. These clinics, which are often the only providers of vital health services to Virginians in need, must be protected and supported by our lawmakers — not attacked.