Archive for February, 2011

Attacking abortion via family-planning funds is wrong

February 17, 2011

As part of their new spending proposal, Republicans want to completely eliminate all funding to a program called Title X, which provides federal funding for family planning and preventative health services and by law must prioritize low-income families. Without adequate federal funding, family-planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood would likely have to severely cut the services they could provide — and it’s specifically abortion services that anti-choice lawmakers are hoping to affect.

I despise when Planned Parenthood is marketed by anti-choicers as nothing but an abortion clinic. Cutting funding to family-planning clinics means also cutting funding for access to contraceptives, pap tests, testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, vasectomies, breast exams, cancer screenings, and other important health services. Abortions only accounted for 3 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provided in 2007 — in contrast, contraception, STI testing, pap tests, pregnancy tests, and breast exams accounted for about 94 percent of all services provided in 2007.

Also, it’s most important to remember that Title X funds cannot, by law, be used for abortions, so lawmakers want to completely wipe out the funding to Title X just to indirectly make it more difficult for family-planning clinics to stay afloat. Sacrificing the health and well-being of low-income women and families in order to make abortion less accessible, even though most women already don’t have easy access to a clinic that provides abortion services (87 percent of U.S. counties don’t have an abortion provider), and most services performed at family-planning clinics aren’t abortion-related? Yeah, that’s pretty shady.

And despite targeting low-income women and families, these legislators will later complain about the burdens these women are putting on other Americans by needing government assistance to pay for health care (as they would lose vital access to cancer screenings, pap tests, and STI testing) or food and other necessities (because when you can’t afford contraceptives to prevent pregnancy and subsequently get pregnant and have babies, those babies are expensive).

But why waste time looking at the bigger picture when you can punish not only women who have sex other than for procreation, but also women who can’t afford contraception, pap tests, and other health services anywhere but family-planning clinics?

You can call 202-730-9001 to tell your representative to vote against any legislation that would eliminate Title X funding. Click here for more information.

To donate to Planned Parenthood, click here.