Republicans routinely say they want to defund Planned Parenthood, but women shouldn’t worry, because the non-abortion services that the group provides can easily be handled by federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).
But according to an investigation done by Amy Littlefield at Rewire, many of those FQHCs would deny certain services because of their religious beliefs.
“We believe that [life] happens at conception and that we don’t want to be involved in any type of procedure that would be an abortion,” said David Sanford, CEO of GraceMed, an FQHC with 13 clinics in Wichita and Topeka, Kansas.
Calling GraceMed a “Christ-centered ministry,” Sanford said that while his clinics provide many forms of birth control, they refuse to insert intrauterine devices (IUDs), even though the medical consensus is that IUDs prevent pregnancy and do not cause abortions, as Sanford claimed.
That’s just one of several organizations contacted by Rewire that didn’t provide basic health services to women because Jesus told them not to. In fact, when you put the restrictive FQHCs together, they received a total of $38 million in federal grants just last year (on top of additional taxpayer funding).
Here’s the kicker:
Ironically, representatives at several religious health centers that refused to offer contraception referred Rewire to Planned Parenthood, an option that may no longer be available should Planned Parenthood be defunded.
As much as I believe access to abortion shouldn’t be up for public debate, birth control absolutely shouldn’t be up for public debate. But if Republicans, with their fact-free approach to governing, have their way, a lot of women will have to struggle to meet their basic healthcare needs.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)