The fight to defund Planned Parenthood isn’t going very well.
The reaction to a series of heavily-edited videos intended to cloud an already maliciously-distorted debate lost steam in the Senate, where the GOP fell short of the votes required to pass the initiative. Not that it really mattered; President Obama pledged to veto any such bill that crossed his desk.
But of course, logic has never really been the GOP’s strong suit. Mainstream candidates have already shackled themselves to the issue. Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, John Kasich, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul have all proclaimed the funding must go. Rick Perry wants their non-profit status gone. Bobby Jindal went so far as to revoke Medicaid coverage for non-abortion services (you know, the only services government funding may cover at Planned Parenthood) within his state. Jeb Bush has probably been the most measured in his response, calling instead for a Congressional investigation… but not before arguing that we’re spending too much money on women’s health.
Nevermind that Planned Parenthood is more popular among the American people than ANY of these presidential hopefuls — this is all about their base, and their base wants Planned Parenthood gone. The staunchly pro-life and religious voting bloc cares about as much for logic as their leadership, and when you look at the facts, this becomes clear.
The impact of defunding Planned Parenthood is about as far from pro-life as you can get. Federal regulation already prevents any government money from going towards abortion services, which means it’s the rest of the 97% of Planned Parenthood’s work that gets hit in this equation. What would defunding Planned Parenthood actually impact?
- The distribution of various methods of birth control to more than 2.13 million women and the distribution of 1.59 million emergency contraception kits… you know, the things that prevent the need for abortion
- The performance of more than 4,500 vasectomies and female sterilizations… again, preventing unwanted pregnancies
- The completion of no less than 1.14 million pregnancy tests and delivery of prenatal services to over 19,000 expectant mothers
- Around 3.7 million STI tests and 700,000 HIV tests, along with treatment for more than 43,000 patients testing positive
- Over 490,000 pap smears, 38,000 HPV vaccinations, and 39,000 procedures to remove abnormal and potentially cancerous tissue from the cervix
- Upwards of 500,000 breast exams, a crucial element in catching and treating breast cancer
- The staffing and resources of more than 700 health care centers across the nation, serving over 2.7 million patients, 80% of whom are living more than 150% below the poverty line
This is not some noble crusade against abortion. This is a war on reproductive healthcare. And there is nothing “pro-life” about that.