The Republican controlled House voted to end all funding to Planned Parenthood for any purpose. This decision comes on the heels of their other decisions to gut programs for veterans, students, seniors and destroy 800,000 jobs in the process. The GOP House’s spending bill will hurt women, men, veterans, students, teachers and thousands of retires and disabled workers relying on social security checks. Cuts to health care reform alone will add $210 billion to the budget over 10 years. Have they no shame? The GOP House has now just about turned their backs on everyone. But worse, yet, the funds cut to Planned Parenthood and health care reform, if passed by the Senate, will also cost lives to men and women. Meanwhile, the American people are still screaming show us the money…meaning jobs. Republican Congressman John Kline (R. MN) said that “nobody should be comfortable with huge cuts like these” in referring to his colleagues’ cuts to education.
Planned Parenthood federal funding money forbids any use for abortions. The federal monies to Planned Parenthood instead goes to help some women without insurance with birth control, including students in college, men, education on HIV, HIV testing, life- saving 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. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund says this is the most dangerous legislative assault on women’s health in the 95 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. 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.
It is estimated that 3 million women go 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 these women go if the measure is passed in the Senate? The Republicans probably take the position of don’t ask, don’t care. If lives are lost in the process, in the words of their leader, John Boehner, “so be it.”
There are options available to combat these dire consequences. Women and men need to take a stand against the draconian attack on Planned Parenthood. Information is available at their web site. If the GOP is ultimately successful in its attack on women’s basic health care, education, students, seniors, veterans and the disabled who’s left to be next on the chopping block. Go to Planned Parenthood.org and Planned Parenthood Action Fund for more information.
Debbie Hines is an attorney and legal/political commentator. She addresses issues on race and women in law and politics. She is frequently seen on air in the media. She also writes for the Hufington Post. She holds a Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.