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June 21, 1999


Channel 34, Binghamton, NY

(Behind Anchor Steve Craig appears a small photograph of the former Planned Parenthood clinic site in Hancock with the words "Deeply Divided" over the picture. Text transcribed from videotape missing Craig's first few words about Planned Parenthood).

Craig: …women with family planning and gynecological services in both urban and traditionally under-served rural areas. However, one part-time clinic in Delaware County is closing. Supporters and opponents of Planned Parenthood have fought over the clinic's presence in the small town of Hancock, and as News Channel 34's Jim Ehmke discovered, the village is still deeply divided.

(Switch to interior shot of former Planned Parenthood clinic site in Hancock, a copy machine, three chairs and a small table visible. Ehmke (reporter) is heard in a voice over. The caption "Hancock" appears under that is "Hancock Clinic Closes.")

Ehmke: Office equipment and a copier sit alone at 14 East main street waiting for movers to arrive on Friday. (Switch to exterior shot of former clinic site heading "Hancock Clinic Closes" remains.) The Planned Parenthood clinic in Hancock closed June 15 after six years in business. The clinic was opened only once a month and saw about eleven regular clients.

(Switch to shot of Debra Marcus apparently working at her desk, answering a phone, writing on a pad, etc. Ehmke's voice over continues and same heading remains.)

Ehmke: Debra Marcus is the executive director of Planned Parenthood of Delaware and Otsego Counties. (Switch to a shot of a sign which reads; Planned Parenthood, 37 Dietz St. 432-2250). She says the organization can no longer afford the cost of running the clinic considering the need.

Marcus: (Interior shot of her office with Marcus speaking. Below her appears the heading Debra Marcus "Decision Was Difficult" "Hancock Clinic Closes") In the last, the last six years, a number of other providers have come in. There are hospital outpatient clinics. So it is not as critical that we be there. [see note 1]

(Switch to shot of Planned Parenthood copy machine in former clinic site. Ehmke's voice over is heard. Heading "Hancock Clinic Closes" appears at the bottom of the screen.)

Ehmke: But other health care providers don't set fees based on income as Planned Parenthood does. (Switch to shot of Carol Debrescia-Walker in what appears to be her Hancock home.) Carol Debrescia-Walker once organized a petition drive to support the clinic. She says the closure will cause a hardship for poor women and teenagers. (Shot switches from Walker to her daughter to Walker.)

Walker: (Heading appears below her as she speaks "Carol Dabrescia-Walker" "Supported Clinic" "Hancock Clinic Closes.") They're going to either have to try to get out of town to another Planned Parenthood clinic, or they'll ignore their bodies' needs, the examinations they should get.

Ehmke: (Switch to exterior shot of former clinic site. Ehmke is standing on the porch speaking. The caption "Jim Ehmke" "Hancock Clinic" appears below.) Not everyone in Hancock is sorry to see Planned Parenthood leave.

(Switch to shot of Linda Szymkowiak with her baby and one of her other sons in the background caption continues to read "Hancock Clinic Closes." Ehmke's voice over is heard).

Ehmke: Linda Szymkowiak is a devout Catholic and opposed to abortion and Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood did not provide abortions in Hancock, but they did offer abortion referrals. (Switch to exterior shot of former clinic site.) Linda, her husband Edward, and a handful of other protesters used to picket outside the clinic.

(Switch to shot of Szymkowiak. Heading reads "Linda Szymkowiak" "Protested Clinic" Hancock Clinic Closes.").

Szymkowiak: We certainly believe through our prayers, through the praying of the rosary, through devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Blessed Mother, that all of that together, yes, we believe that that was a major influence in their leaving our community.

(Switch to shot of the lock on the door of the former clinic. Ehmke's voice over is heard)

Ehmke: Planned Parenthood insists that Edward Szymkowiak's protests did not close the clinic.

Marcus: (Switch to shot of Marcus) To the contrary, he helped us be very visible. There wasn't a person in Hancock who didn’t know Planned Parenthood was there. We hardly had to spend anything on advertising.

(Switch to shot of Walker's daughter Danielle and Walker. Ehmke's voice over is heard. Danielle and Walker are holding a copy of the petition Walker had circulated some years ago.)

Ehmke: Carol's daughter Danielle would have gone to the clinic this summer for her first routine exam. Now she'll have to go elsewhere. In Hancock, Jim Ehmke, WIVC News Channel 34.

(Return to shot of Steve Craig with photo of former clinic and heading "Deeply Divided.")

Craig: If you live in the Hancock area and you want to get in touch with a Planned Parenthood office in Delaware County, there is a toll free number you can call. It will ring through to the Walton office. The number is 637-3346. (The number, with the heading "Planned Parenthood" appears at the bottom of the screen.)

End of Newscast

Note 1: Marcus' claim that other providers have moved in is dubious at best. Hancock residents note that the Lourdes Hospital Pre-natal program did open and run for a few years as a counter to Planned Parenthood. More recently, a Hancock clinic associated with a hospital in Callicoon, NY actually closed as well. The main health care provider in Hancock is still the Delaware Valley Hospital Clinic which existed well before PP came to town in 1993. Hancock residents consulted know of NO new providers in Hancock.

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