Sometimes, life is stranger than fiction. The Republican controlled House voted to end all funding to Planned Parenthood for any contraceptive or other purposes. Meanwhile, Rep. Dan Burton (R. IN) introduced a spending bill amendment aimed at promoting contraception use by horses to control the population of wild horses. Burton’s amendment would prevent the Bureau of Land Management from holding wild horses in pens and offers “immuno-contraception” to the horses as an alternative. These same Republican politicians, who want to strip women of their right for any contraceptive resources through Planned Parenthood, offer an amendment to support funding for contraceptives for wild horses. Does anyone see the irony or better yet, hypocrisy in the two? Rep. Burton says wild horses are treated in an inhumane way and birth control will improve their treatment. I support treating horses and other animals in a humane manner. I just wonder how Burton and his fellow Republicans think lower income women and those without health insurance are being treated by the Republican led House, without access to Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive services. Meanwhile, back in the country, the American people are still screaming show us the money…meaning jobs.
Planned Parenthood federal funding money currently forbids any use for abortions. The federal monies to Planned Parenthood goes to help some women without insurance, including lower income women and college students, with birth control, education on HIV, HIV testing, life- saving breast and cervical cancer screenings, education on use of condoms and STD education. Cutting any funding for HIV and cancer testing undoubtedly will cost lives for men and women and deny basic health care access. Completely defunding Planned Parenthood is as reckless as the President of Bahrain ordering troops to fire into the crowd. It will have the same consequences.
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund says this is the most dangerous legislative assault on women’s health in all the years of Planned Parenthood. Richards says the bill to bar Planned Parenthood from federal funding is “part of an unbelievable and unrelenting campaign to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers and deny women access to basic health care.” Millions of women at some time in their lifetime have gone to a Planned Parenthood Center. Instead of decreasing funding to the war and the contractors who benefit from the war, the GOP has chosen to assault and war against women and at the same time help horse contraception.
It is estimated that 3 million women go yearly to 800 Planned Parenthood centers across America. 97% seek services for annual exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraceptives, well woman health visits and health education. Well woman health care allows a woman to be assessed for other health issues such as diabetes and hypertension. And then Planned Parenthood ensures that they receive care elsewhere, if needed. Where will they go if the measure is passed in the Senate? And the GOP probably says, don’t ask, don’t care. House Speaker Boehner would probably just say, if lives are lost as a result of these cuts, then “so be it.” Planned Parenthood and women are under attack by Republicans who want to make government smaller by making government ”just small enough to fit inside our bedrooms and our medicine cabinets” says NARAL Pro Choice America President Nancy Keenan.
Well, one thing is for sure. Women conceive and so do horses. Unlike horses, women vote.
Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer and legal/political commentator. She is frequently seen on air in the media. She also writes for the Huffington Post. She holds a Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. For the Best of Legal Speaks blogs, click on Res Ipsa Loquitur ( “the thing speaks”)