Maybe Congressman Mike Pence is unaware that about 44 million people in this country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance and maybe he is also unaware that many of those uninsured are women. Either Pence doesn’t know or doesn’t care that these women still need health care services, even when they are unable to afford it or have lost their health insurance due to unemployment or other hardships. When Mike Pence proposed to defund Planned Parenthood he willingly forgot about nearly 1.2 million of youth and adults that utilize Planned Parenthood as their only form of health care.
Pence’s crusade to stop federal funding through the Title X program to entities that offer abortions is a crusade that will end many women’s accessibility to affordable preventive and primary health care. This would mean that many women who are unable to obtain health insurance would no longer be able to receive health care services such as screenings for cervical and other forms of cancer, birth control, testing for STDs, physical exams, diabetes screening and many other much-needed services that contribute to women’s health.
Title X is the only federal program dedicated to reproductive health and family planning. It is a vital source of funding for family planning clinics throughout the nation. Pence’s plan to put an end to this funding for health care providers such as Planned Parenthood is basically saying that providers such as Planned Parenthood should no longer exist. Without this vital funding, programs such as Planned Parenthood would have to close their doors to the many women that rely on their affordable services which are based on their incomes.
When programs such as Planned Parenthood are permanently shut down due to lack of funding what will be done about the vital issue of women’s health? What good can come out of cutting services that promote women’s health and family planning?
Planned Parenthood is already barred from using funds federal funds for abortion services, but the recent amendment the House passed (The vote was 240-185 with 11 Democrats voting for the amendment, and seven Republicans voting against. One member voted present) will completely eliminate federal funds for Planned Parenthood.
For Pro-Life supporters this may seem like a victory, but a victory for whom? Who will benefit from uninsured women now missing physical exams or being unable to afford birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies? Who will benefit from low-income women being unable to obtain diabetes screenings, cholesterol screenings and other vital health screenings? What about women who want to stop smoking and would like the assistance that Planned Parenthood provides?
If the money that health care providers such as Planned Parenthood receive to provide family planning, birth control, medical and preventive services is eliminated, who will take up the slack to continue these services for women and families who either cannot afford health insurance for themselves or their families or those who are unemployed? If Pence and other supporters of this amendment cannot see the good that comes from these providers they will continue to believe that monies given to these entities are used for abortion and that is untrue.
I also find it very disturbing that the seven representatives that voted against the Pence Amendment are now being threatened by anti-abortion groups because they chose to vote against this amendment. (story here) How do you proclaim to be Pro-Life yet feel that others don’t have the right to cast their vote as they see fit.
Whether you are Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, facts are facts and the facts are that the Roe vs. Wade decision gave women the legal right to have an abortion. It is also a fact that the Hyde Amendment bars the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions.
Basically Mike Pence and other Pro-Life supporters want to cut funding for Planned Parenthood as an attack on the issue of abortion. The issue of abortion has been settled, it is a procedure that has been deemed legal by The United States Supreme Court under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Regardless of moral or religious beliefs, women have the right to have abortions and cutting funding to places that offer abortion as one of their many services is not fallacious.
The issue should not be abortion, the issue is health. Pence has made abortion the main topic as if Planned Parenthood is just an abortion clinic and has used this amendment to do away with Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides a variety of services and there are many, many people who depend on them for health care that otherwise they couldn’t afford. This will hurt more people than it will help. Honestly, I don’t know who, if anyone, that this amendment will help.
- If you would like to Join the Fight With Planned Parenthood and sign their open letter to Congress visit www.plannedparenthood.org and click the I STAND WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD BANNER.
- Click here to read Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood statement on the passage of the Pence Bill to Eliminate Federal Funding for Planned Parenthood
- Click here to view State data on the Title X Program from Planned Parenthood.org
- Pence addresses misconceptions about amendment to end funding to Planned Parenthood (riehlworldview.com)
- Obama Administration Ignores Planned Parenthood Sex Trafficking Videos (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Planned Parenthood in TN plans to continue on, despite proposed funding cut (knoxnews.com)
- House Votes to Stop Funding Planned Parenthood: What This Means for You (self.com)
- Mike Pence Wages War on Planned Parenthood (newser.com)
- Obama Recalls Roe v. Wade, Backs Abortion Rights (usatoday.com)