“Republicans plan to strip Planned Parenthood of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding as part of their rapid push to repeal President Obama’s health-care overhaul, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday.” (Washington Post)
A couple of days ago a Republican special investigation panel recommended taking Medicaid reimbursements and access to federal family-planning funds away from Planned Parenthood, along with recommending that stated be allowed to exclude abortion providers from their Medicaid programs.
Just thinking about pulling together some arguments about this action makes me tired. We’ve been arguing about abortion for so long, so viciously, that I’m having a hard time scraping up any response deeper than two middle fingers and a dirty look.
Planned Parenthood, federal funding and Medicaid directly benefits poor women, working single mothers, working class women, and just, like, most women in general.
Let’s run over the PP facts again.
- Since 1976 it has been illegal to use federal funding to finance abortions. It is illegal. It does not happen. Your federal tax dollars do not pay for abortions.
- In the last two years, PP has received about $553 million in federal funding, which is about 43% of its budget. $553 million is barely a drop in the bucket in the federal budget. Like, that’s “dimes under the couch cushions” money to the government.
- Abortions count for 3% of the services Planned Parenthood provides. A tiny amount of what PP does for women is abortions, and, because this cannot be made clear enough, your federal tax dollars do not pay for any of that 3%. Because it’s illegal. Since 1976.
- STI testing and treatment accounts for 45% of the services PP provides, and contraception accounts for another 31% of PP’s services. By taking away 43% of PP’s funding, you are directly contributing to a rise in sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
- Taking funding away from Planned Parenthood directly hurts women by decreasing access to treatments for things like cancer screenings, UTI treatments, adoption referrals and other general health aid, which accounts for the other 21% of what Planned Parenthood does.
When women don’t have easy, affordable access to the kinds of basic health care places like Planned Parenthood provide, they are sicker, die more often and earlier than they should, are poorer than they should be and have more unwanted children that they can’t take care of. This directly affects the economy. It makes us as a whole poorer, more in need of government-funded help, and makes our economy less efficient and less powerful.
Taking this kind of funding and help away from women hurts us all. And the Republicans are only doing it for quick headlines that they can use to score cheap points with conservatives. In the end, this action harms the whole country and helps no one.
Things You Can Do To Help
- Call your senators and representatives to tell them that you don’t support Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. Tell them that you support Planned Parenthood and easy, reasonably-priced access to health care for women. Find your senators and representatives here: WhoIsMyRepresentative.com.
- Call Speaker Paul Ryan and tell him you don’t support his plan to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. Find his contact information here: www.Speaker.gov/Contact.
- Donate to Planned Parenthood.