States In Money Pinch Turn Low-income Women Away From Free Cancer Screenings

The Associated Press reports that women with low incomes are being turned away or put on long waiting lists for free cancer screenings in at least 20 states.

The discovery comes from the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network. "In the unofficial survey of programs for July 2008 through April 2009, the organization found that state budget strains are forcing some programs to reject people who would otherwise qualify for free mammograms and Pap smears." Some women are screened through other programs or referred to different providers, the AP reports. "At least 14 states cut budgets for free cancer screenings this year: Colorado, Montana, Illinois, Alabama, Minnesota, Connecticut, South Carolina, Utah, Missouri, Washington, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Arkansas." Some have found ways to maintain the services, but some states that haven't cut the programs turn women away because there is less funding (Bauman, 12/12).

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