Last week, Congressional Republicans, with Vice President Mike Pence, voted to allow states to block $200 million in Title X federal funding to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. This move reverses a rule put in place by President Obama that was intended to protect federal family planning funding for abortion and reproductive health providers.
It is important to remember that absolutely no federal dollars fund abortions specifically. Therefore, Title X is intended to pay for other types of family planning or reproductive care, such as breast exams, pap smears, birth control, or STD testing.
This step does not go as far as to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, but it depicts the party’s priorities are to appease its extremist, anti-abortion base. The bill has passed the House and is expected to be signed by Donald Trump.
Understanding the Politics Behind Denying Access to Abortion and Reproductive Care
Why the attempts to defund Planned Parenthood? Near the end of 2015, fake video surfaced that suggested that Planned Parenthood was attempting to sell fetal tissue remains. After this video came to light (and even after it was debunked) folks on the far right called for Planned Parenthood to be defunded.
Since there is a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, there clearly exists an agenda to defund abortion providers and block those who rely on Medicaid and Title X funding from accessing affordable health care.
We must also remember that blocks to federal funding for Planned Parenthood would disproportionately impact low income folks, particularly people of color, who often rely on these clinics for their accessible and affordable care.
Planned Parenthood also provides comprehensive sex education in the United States–an essential service that helps young people, women, trans and GNC folks learn about their bodies and their sexuality. This organization is committed to giving people the information and access they need to live a healthy and productive life.
What these know-nothings in our government should be concerned about is ensuring that all people have access to affordable family planning and health care, which includes abortions, birth control, and whatever else they might need.