Revisiting Republican Assault on the Planned Parenthood Program: A ticking time bomb in the making?
Critical issues on closing the federal budget gap and or pay down the federal deficit through underfunding of women health and support programs are taking the form of a national movement. Several bills have been introduced in congress to de-fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Associated women health programs with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been targeted for capitulation by the Republican majority in the House. No other social welfare organization and or programs have suffered so many attacks as the Planned Parenthood and women health programs. Against the backdrop of efforts in the United State House of Representatives to underfund the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act, Republicans in state house of representatives or assemblies are working hard to attack Planned Parenthood, stop or underfund any programs designed to assist independence of choices in women health, feed low-income households, their babies and children. The blog today undertakes the discussion of the repercussion of this new movement in American political terrain
In the State of Texas, a subcommittee in the house of representatives has just voted to undermine a social welfare program that provides food to low-income women and their infants, all in the name of fighting Planned Parenthood. Oklahoma State Representative Jason Murphy, Republican from Guthrie, Logan County, is attempting to reorder federal funds meant for Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program such that women would be unable to feed their infants, have access to nutrition education programs during pregnancy and make independent choice on reproductive services, all in the name of undermining the Planned Parenthood abortion referral services. Conservative Republican lawmakers in Indiana, working in collaboration with Governor Mitch Daniels, a possible Republican aspirant for 2012 Presidential nomination, are poised to cut all state funds to the Planned parenthood Organization. With developments as these, no one should underestimate the Republican strategy to undo and or undermine any institution or programs designed to assist women in making independent choices over their bodies, feed their children and remain focused in addressing other challenges of living in an under-performing economy.
The recent attacks on Planned Parenthood in the U.S House of Representatives is followed by grassroots movement in state houses with Republican majority, highlighting a cautious effort to run down funding for the nation’s oldest and probably most-effective family planning provider. Republican lawmakers, both nationally and at state levels, are emerging as a committed threat to the survival of the 95-year old Planned Parenthood Organization. Who could have imagined that women, who have consistently sought independence on their suffrage in the last century, would be fighting against a tidal wave of Republicans lawmakers bent on undermining the health of women, under the pretext of fighting any federal funds from going into abortion.
The promise that women can chart their own future is now under threat. How can child bearing aged woman without food and health care insurance for her children and health body, survive the pressures of every day living in a hostile environment and an under-performing economy? This is one question that will resonate with many women; but probably oblivious to the conservative republican lawmakers working hard to derail the health care reform law. If Republicans are seeking to profit from their current found mission, it may be wise for those leading this mission to acquiescence themselves with the reason behind the formation of Planned Parenthood; and, why their newly found endeavor may boomerang against them.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading reproductive health and maternal and child health services provider, has its roots in Brooklyn, New York in 1921. With over 820 clinics spread all over the federation and one third of its money from grants and contracts to the tune of 390 Million dollars in 2009 from the federal government, the organization strives to provide the following services among others, family planning counseling, improve quality of reproductive care by providing nationwide campaign against unwanted pregnancies and supporting women who make a choice to keep and have their babies in a healthy and sound bodies. Unfortunately, Conservative Republicans have problems with the services provided by Planned Parenthood, not just the abortion services counseling. Left to this group of law makers, Planned Parenthood must seize to exist as we all know it today.
The Conservative Republican leadership have found that through their conceived differences in the perception of what Planned Parenthood actually does and what they believe the organization stands for, they will rather the organization seize to exist or stifle it from any fund to the extent that it will be unable to provide all services to the poor, infant and women. The differences in perceptions between the Conservative Republicans and supporters of Planned Parenthood have so much deepened to the extent that some of the Republican lawmakers are bent on either killing the organization or siphoning federal grants or contracts going to the organization; and, using the difference to balance the budget or pay down government debts. At some state levels, any program that Planned Parenthood may participate or benefit from, should rather be discontinued or wiped out, rather than supported, even if poor children and women have to suffer a repercussion.
For many women, the current bold-face assault from the Republican Party is an affront on women and children’s health. Many low and middle income women, who have benefited from the services of Planned Parenthood in the past, are scratching their heads attempting to figure out what exactly have they done wrong to bring the wrath of the Republicans. Meanwhile, Democrats are fighting tooth and nail alongside women groups to come up with answers to how to best address this new confrontation from the Republican Conservatives. While Republicans are invoking the rhetoric that new federal funds must not go to abortion, Democrats are reminding the Republicans that, barring any unknown, no federal fund is going into performing abortion and going after Planned Parenthood in their new quest, is just a fruitless effort; or, a shroud to cover-up the real reasons for the new attacks on the organization.
Planned Parenthood is not unique in providing reproductive and maternal health counseling to women; other non-profit organizations provide similar services, yet the Conservative Republicans have chosen to go after Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood occasionally used their money to support healthy reproductive birth, where the lives of the women are not in jeopardy and the issues of ancestral pregnancies are absent. The fact that Conservative Republicans, both at national and state levels, have now held the mantra to stifle Planned Parenthood is now puzzling many people who have long seen the organization as a women's health concern action group, supporting women and their children. That Planned Parenthood has turned out to be the kicking ball in the bid to cut federal deficit and or balance the state budgets, continue to bemuse many. Planned Parenthood helps improve quality of reproductive care and partners with other vibrant organization to support family planning and better women health services. What do these people want?
Just as Representative Mike Pence, Republican from Indiana has attempted to lead the war against Planned Parenthood in the United State House of Representatives, many of his surrogates or supporters at state level assemblies' are working hard to incapacitate Planned Parenthood by preventing the organization from participating in any federal health program. While it is well documented that federal dollars must never go into abortion and this law has held ground for over thirty years, the new Republican’s agenda is to actually cut funding for birth control services, thus increasing likelihood of abortion.
The way things are proceeding nationally regarding the new assault on Planned Parenthood at state levels, if Republicans are able to pull this off, killing family planning of any sort, millions of low income women will not only suffer, many families that are surviving because of their ability to manage reproductive choices, will be in disarray; the ultimate result of which will be challenging times for the federal budget, not otherwise. Contrary to the allegation against Planned Parenthood that it diverts federal funds into abortion ninety-percent of the time, well documented records indicate this is not true and only three percent of the planned parenthood services go into safe legal procedures.
With brazen attempt to dissolve social welfare and health programs in states like Texas, Oklahoma and Indiana, if funds meant for health programs at the state level go to the Planned Parenthood Organization, other states in the federation may follow through. For example, the Texas Medicaid Women's Health Program is about to be a causality of the excesses of the Republican Conservatives at the state level. Unless women rights and activist groups stand up for their inalienable right and fight for what is rightfully theirs with the help of progressive groups, this nation may find itself back again in an already fought and settled wars between the sexes. Now, it is one thing for us to be fighting global terrorism, it is another, for us to be fighting between ourselves while attempting to fight terrorism. The choice is ours!