The Republicans (especially those in the House of Representatives) are causing crazy shenanigans! I don’t know whether to laugh at them or cry because they are ruining lives. (Republicans are why we can’t have nice things!) In addition to voting to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, Republicans in South Dakota have proposed a bill to make it LEGAL to kill abortion providers in some backwoods, twisted “eye for an eye logic.” Republicans have also proposed to cut billions of dollars in food aid to low-income women and children. There’s a bill in Congress that would allow doctors to let a woman die rather than perform an abortion to save her life…and many more ideas and legislation aimed at cutting spending in the areas where we need it most. Are they even listening to themselves speak? They’re like the tone-deaf “American Idol” contestants who audition, are told that they suck, and refuse to believe it. Hubris, party of Red States.
Basically, Republicans don’t care if women die. They don’t care about the health of a baby born into a low-income situation. They want women in tough situations to have their babies, but then refuse to help them with family planning and providing for the child. Maybe if we increased the options for unwed mothers in tough situations the abortion rate would go down? Maybe if we keep giving Planned Parenthood money to teach people about birth control and safe sex, abortion would be lass of an issue. BUT Republicans would rather (literally) get away with murder than do all that. After all, thinking is hard.
I had to write an editorial for one of my classes and I thought I’d post it before it became “old news.” So here it is:
On Friday, the House of Representatives voted to eliminate all of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, in a vote that was heavily skewed towards party lines. The Republican-controlled House passed the amendment 240 to 185 even after Rep. Jackie Speier gave an emotional speech about her own experience with a second-trimester abortion procedure, proving that Republicans really may be heartless.
The Republicans that rallied for the measure in the house seemed to think that abortion is all Planned Parenthood does, which it isn’t. In fact, through Title X, Planned Parenthood cannot use federal money to fund abortions at all. All tax payer money goes towards family planning, prenatal care, cancer and STD screenings and birth control for women who either don’t have health care or cannot afford their copays. But the one-track mind Republicans seem to think that the $330 million is going towards killing babies and not keeping women safe, healthy and disease-free.
Proponents of the amendment argue that by funding these other programs Planned Parenthood is saving their money from private donors to provide abortions and therefore, in some ridiculous twist of logic, they think that federal money is facilitating these abortions…which it’s not. The money is kept completely separate, kind of like the party lines in the House itself.
Republicans seem to have a vendetta against Planned Parenthood because while the organization only provides a quarter of all the abortions in the U.S. it is the most vocal about women’s reproductive health. Note the use of the word “health.” Planned Parenthood isn’t a baby-killing monger of an organization; they simply provide health care and options to women who may have nowhere else to turn, especially in rural areas where health centers are hard to find.
In fact, it can be hypothesized that by eliminating Planned Parenthood’s federal funding for preventative measures like birth control pills, condoms and sexual education the abortion rate may rise because those in need were unable to afford the pills or condoms to prevent a pregnancy. More children could end up in foster care, which is also funded by tax payers. The Republican ammunition against Planned Parenthood may backfire and blow up in their face.
A majority of those who voted “yes” on the amendment were men, who have no idea how to comprehend how much Planned Parenthood means to a young woman. If a man doesn’t want a child that was unplanned he can cut and run. It’s the wrong thing to do and he may eventually have to pay child support, but he doesn’t have to be a parent if he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t have to carry the child for nine months. He doesn’t have to undergo the abortion procedure or its recovery time. Most curable STDs have no symptoms in men whereas women need treatment almost the day after they contract the infection. HPV can cause cervical cancer but it symptom-less in men. Men don’t have to take a pill every day, take a monthly injection, put on a patch or any other expensive, prescription hormone-based contraceptive all of which can cause menstrual cycle irregularities or mood swings and in extreme cases blood clots or strokes. All they have to do is pick up a $10 box of Trojans and roll one on.
Planned Parenthood is about all those things that women need. Planned Parenthood is a prevention and health organization—it’s not a one-stop shop to procure a hasty abortion as these House Republicans seem to think. This is why cutting federal funding is most definitely the wrong thing to do. It’s unfair to all the mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, aunts, nieces and girlfriends in this country. Cutting off federal funding from Planned Parenthood his akin to taking money out of the education system, because that’s 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does, they educate on safe sex, on STDs, on prenatal care. Ask any Planned Parenthood employee, abortion is always an option but it’s one that always comes with a lengthy discussion of other options as well as a birth control tutorial and counseling.
It just doesn’t make any sense. The government can bail out the auto industry but can’t invest in low-cost health care for the scared and nervous women who need it the most. GM can rise from its bankruptcy to carry on with its life but a woman can’t get birth control or an STD screening so she can go on living hers?
The amendment still has to pass the Senate, which is still Democrat-controlled, in order for it to progress to Obama’s desk. Hopefully the Senate will base their decision on logic and compassion, not right-wing God talk. It’s the right thing to do.