“How is attacking women helping the economy, creating jobs or helping our national security?”
Amen, Rep. McDermott. It’s not. In this five minute video on the floor of the House of Representatives today, Washington state House Democrat Rep. Jim McDermott shows his support for retaining the 40 year-old Title X program. He castigates the House Republican leadership for “trying to shut down Planned Parenthood; an amazingly immoral thing to do…at the expense of 150 million women.”
McDermott also points out that this is not just an attack on Planned Parenthood, of course. Eliminating Title X, the only federal program to ensure that family planning including STI prevention, breast exams, Pap tests and more are available to anyone regardless of ability to pay, is a “war with the poor,” he says.
“Let’s not forget the American people sent us here to solve problems that face everyone! The Republican laser focus is not on jobs, the economy or national security but on attacking women and children, waging a culture war…Republicans have gone from pro-life to pro-government-intrusion in the extreme!”
According to a fact sheet released by the Guttmacher Institute today, part of a report on the effect of the elimination of Title X on the states, while 22 Planned Parenthood centers around Washington State receive some Title X funding, in fact the community health centers (20) and public health family planning clinics (31) which also rely on the funding. What would happen if Title X were to be eliminated, thereby leaving lower income residents in states around the country without access to health care? In Washington State, for example, the abortion rate would be 44% higher and teen pregnancy would be 52% higher. As well,
By helping women avoid unintended pregnancies and the births that would follow, the services provided at Title X–supported centers in Washington saved $72,159,000 in public funds in 2008.
But the GOP isn’t interested in actually representing the “will of the people.” The majority of Americans support government-funded family planning programs. This is a culture war, being waged on women and the poor, plain and simple. This is not going to ‘save the economy’ or help the almost 15 million Americans who are currently unemployed. The spate of anti-choice bills House leadership have introduced, along with budget proposals like wiping out health care for low-income Americans, is a despicable distraction from the real problems we face in this country.