The Planned Parenthood Battle Part 1

Hi guys!  Jeez, but I have been posting rather more frequently than I originally intended.  Don’t get too excited, odds are not in favor of me posting this often long-term.  But I AM about to start a mini-series on this blog called The Planned Parenthood Battle, and it will have to be in installments because I am tracking what is going on with Planned Parenthood, and I have a feeling this story is only just beginning.

For those of you reading this blog who don’t actually know me personally, I go to school in Washington, DC, and I was there on the eve of the near government shutdown.  This was a close call, guys.  They passed a temporary budget five hours before we would have shut down completely.  But what was the sticking point?  Do you remember?  What did we almost shut down over?

Oh, right.  Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood International is one of the leading family planning organizations in the world today.  For forty years, they have done amazing work on three continents, helping to provide access to basic contraception and women’s healthcare resources such as breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings.  They also help advocate for US foreign policies that promote family planning, since the United States has an astonishing impact on the availability of contraception and family planning services around the world.  If you’re rolling your eyes, stop and think for a minute.  How did women even get into this messy subordinate position in most societies?  Oh, right–they can have babies.  And once they have babies, they have to take care of babies.  Birth control has empowered women in ways that even things like suffrage have not, both in America and abroad.

There, that was my pro-Planned Parenthood, pro-birth control spiel.  But if you’re reading this obviously feminist blog, you probably assumed I was pro-birth control, because, HELLO, condoms?  They are a good thing.  They stop STDs, they stop unwanted pregnancies, even the Catholic Church is starting to come around on this issue!  So you really don’t need to read about how contraception is a good thing.

But what this post IS about has to do with something else that Planned Parenthood supports: abortions.

There, I said it.  The A word.  Go ahead, gasp, make a face, go Google Roe v Wade.  Or sit there and nod if you want, because, yeah, okay, they have information about abortions.  They run clinics that support or even perform abortions.  If you’re pro-life, okay, I respect your right to hold that opinion…up until we start talking about therapeutic abortion (abortion to save a woman’s life.  If you lose both the mother and the fetus, that’s not really pro-life, that’s two deaths, is it not?).  But this blog is NOT going to become a forum for the abortion debate.  This is just about the battle over Planned Parenthood funding.

Because I only started to keep track of it when, uh, our federal government almost shut down over this issue.  But then I started to notice that it’s a recurring trend.

Back in June, Texas moved to slash the funding that it allocates for family planning and health services by, oh, about $70 million.  And it created a new priority system for allocating remaining funds to state- and federally-run health clinics (which of course avoid the abortion issue like the plague).  And you’re thinking, well, at least we still have those clinics, right?  That sounds good.  Except there is a problem: Nearly 40% of women in Texas’s state-run Women’s Health Program, which is a Medicaid-waiver program that saves Texas something like $40 million every year by providing low-income and uninsured women with basic contraception and healthcare receive these services through Planned Parenthood; as many as 30000 low-income women could lose access to these basic services because of these cuts.  There are also estimates that unplanned pregnancies could rise by up to 20,000 per year–and that’s not ending well for anyone, not the mothers, not the babies, and not the government.

So well done, Texas.  You stuck it to those liberals, that’s right.  Except Texas has another problem: a similar move to de-fund Planned Parenthood in Indiana was struck down by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (and just when I thought that department didn’t do anything…) and now Texas is left wondering if their attempts to remove funds from Planned Parenthood will even work.

But sadly, our story doesn’t even end with Texas.  Let’s take a look at New Jersey, shall we?  On July 7, Governor Christie vetoed legislation that would restore about $7 to women’s health programs–money that wasn’t even going to Planned Parenthood, but rather to Federally Qualified Health Clinics and cancer education programs.  Nicely done, New Jersey.  Worse, though the legislation to restore those $7 million was introduced by Republicans originally, there was not even enough bi-partisanship in the legislature during today’s vote to overturn the veto.  But moreover, New Jersey is refusing to fund Planned Parenthood, and as a result of these funding cuts, two in-state clinics shut down last year.

Stick with me, people.  I’m going to be telling you a lot more about how American family planning policies impact the rest of the world, as well as those of us living in the states, as I keep following this saga of Planned Parenthood as it unfolds.  Questions?  Comments?  Lay them on me.

Sources for this post include:


~ by Randi Saunders on July 12, 2011.

One Response to “The Planned Parenthood Battle Part 1”

  1. […] theradicalidea because one chromosome shouldn't define you HomeAbout ← The Planned Parenthood Battle Part 1 […]

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