I sure wish they were, but they aren’t. But, tell that to the GOP who thinks it is perfectly OK to eliminate federal funding for all community clinic family planning programs – which just happens to include all federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics – all under the guise of making sure that none of their pro life voting supporters’ tax dollars go IN ANY WAY towards funding abortions.
They don’t care that there is already a law preventing it from happening directly. Planned Parenthood is required to carefully separate its abortion expense from all others. Abortions are performed in a different building, or a designated floor with specifically designated staff to ensure that there is no crossover of funds.
But the pro life voting block is still not happy with that. In their minds, any federal money provided to PP frees up other funds to pay for their abortion services.
Well, gosh folks, I hate to break it to you but we don’t GET to designate our tax dollars to specific programs!! There are PLENTY of things the Federal Government does with my tax dollars that I sure as heck don’t like. Forget obvious things like war spending which I am pretty sure many other citizens don’t particularly support. Defense of our borders, yes. Invading other countries for reasons as yet to be determined? Not so much. How about subsidies to oil companies? You know, those conglomerates that make billions year after year and yet never pay a DIME in taxes thanks to industry specific tax breaks. Then on top of that, they get federal money in subsidies? Because, you know, they really NEED that!
Farm subsidies too. Not all of them of course, just the ones that help out foods I don’t like. Such as brussel sprouts. I never buy the things and hate to know that any of my hard earned tax dollars are being used to grow them. Yuck. Ptooey! It’s against my taste bud’s beliefs!
Alas, that is just not how taxes work. Citizens pay taxes to fund the government. It’s mandatory, not voluntary. Sure, we can designate $3 to go to the Presidential election fund when we file our taxes, but who does that? Seriously – do any of you ever check that box? Otherwise, we have no say. That there has been enough of a citizen backed movement to have in place this restriction on federal funding for abortion – a completely legal medical procedure – is rather unusual as it is. It also has the side effect of making it harder for low income women to exercise their right to choose since they are the ones who will need to use a family planning clinic like PP. Still, the Hyde amendment has been the law of the land for appropriations bills since 1976 and was also specifically attached to the recently passed Affordable Care Act to ensure that any government subsidized health care plan would not be covering abortions. Again – who would use that? Lower income women.
The thing is – setting aside how one might feel about abortion one way or the other – the attempt to eliminate funding from Title X programs has an even deeper impact on families who need ALL of the services they provide.
Abortions only represent 3% of the services PP provides. Contraception is 35%, testing for sexually transmitted diseases is 34% and cancer screening and prevention is 17%.
It seems to me that people who are so concerned about stopping abortions should be equally, if not MORE concerned about *preventing* unplanned pregnancies in the first place. Mike Pence, the GOP Congressman who introduced this bill even acknowledged that stating that he applauds “the important work that is done in Title X clinics across this country: breast cancer screening, HIV protection, education, counseling, pregnancy diagnosis.”
Unfortunately, applauding does not mean supporting those services enough to fund them.
Ironically, the original Title X program was signed into law by GOP President Richard Nixon in 1970. Of course, by today’s Republican party standards, Nixon would be a Democrat! He proclaimed that “no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.”
Thank you Mr Nixon, I agree.
Unfortunately the 2011 GOP led congress does not. They are fine with halting funding for 2.2 million Pap smears, 2.3 million breast exams and nearly 6 million tests for sexually transmitted diseases.
An informal survey of my female friends on the internet resulted in a response of close to 85% who used a Title X funded clinic at some point in their lives. For most of us it was in our early 20s when money and insurance were tight or non existent. For others it was later on, or perhaps even a constant back up because the industries they worked in were victims to lay offs or lack of complete insurance coverage because they are independent contractors. One woman had her breast cancer detected early at a Planned Parenthood clinic and to this day she credits them with saving her life.
Now, the good thing for women is that the Democrats still hold the Senate and the WH and this particular part of the budget bill wont pass. But I also think that women need to pay attention to what message the GOP is sending to you. I’m not a raging feminist, but damn if this doesn’t feel like an assault on our mere existence! Another message about control feels like it is being sent along. Your bodies are not yours my dears. You are not free to seek all the medical services you may need. Especially if you are poor. First those services need to pass their religious purity tests. And that matters more than anything.
Even your own life.
(Oh yeah, and just how many jobs would this bill have created? Because, you know, it’s all about JOBS, right?!)