Saturday, February 19, 2011

The G.O.P War On Women Continues

More than a third of Planned Parenthood's budget is funded by federal, state and local governments.  The $75 million its receives from the federal government, which cannot be used for abortions, provides family planning services for low and moderate income women.  On Friday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the budget bill to deny funding to Planned Parenthood.  Early this morning, the House passed the Republican budget plan, which all told includes $60 billion in spending cuts.  The Democrats were unanimous in opposition.

Nancy Pelosi questioned the motives of the mostly male group of Republicans who were most vehement against funding Planned Parenthood, accusing them of trying to disguise their opposition to family planning by using Planned Parenthood "as a whipping boy."  Pelosi made the obvious point that "if you want to reduce the number of abortions in our country, you must commit to supporting contraception and family planning,"  She is right.  This isn't really about preventing abortions.  We know this because the amendment which cuts funding to Planned Parenthood also eliminates all $317 million in funding for the Title X program, which provides comprehensive family planning and preventive health services, including information and access to contraception, to low income Americans.

This attack on women and families is part of the familiar mean-spirited Republican formula of attacking government programs that help the poor and disadvantaged, and using wedge issues to fire up their conservative base. This latest move is so extreme, however, that it should serve to fire up the rest of us who care about women's reproductive health.

[Related posts:  Hyde and Seek; G.O.P. War on Women; Back to the Dark Ages]


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