After attemping to redefine rape such that women who were not beaten during a rape did not "count" as being raped, Republicans have continued to attack women's rights. They are currently attempting to defund Planned Parenthood of their federal funding and/or remove all federal funding from the Title X program.
There are two current plans -- one, introduced by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), would make any organization that provides abortion services ineligible for Title X funding. The other plan suggests stripping Title X of all federal funding, which would put Planned Parenthood out of business in the process (Planned Parenthood received $16.9 million of Title X funding in 2009).
Their main arguments are that 1) taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for abortions and 2) this will help cut the budget deficit.
Do you know much money of the $327 million Title X Family Planning funds is currently used to finance abortions or abortion-related services? ZERO DOLLARS. Planned Parenthood does not use any of their federal dollars toward abortions or abortion care (In fact, abortions make up less than 3% of their total revenue). That's because IT IS ALREADY ILLEGAL for them to spend Title X funds on abortion services or abortion-related services.
So, Rep. Pence should sleep better tonight knowing that this whole time Planned Parenthood is NOT using federal funds for abortions.
Which raises the question -- what do Planned Parenthood and other Title X Organizations use their federal funding for?
Birth control services
Birth control counseling
Breast cancer screenings
Female infertility screening and referral
Safer sex counseling
Treatments to prevent cervical cancer (colposcopy, cryotherapy, and LEEP)
Colon cancer screening
Erectile dysfunction services, including education, exams, treatment, and referral
Male infertility screening and referral
Routine physical exams
Testicular cancer screenings
Prostate cancer screenings
Parental education classes
Urinary tract infections testing and treatment
The people who use Title X Organizations are generally low-income, though it is estimated 5 million men and women used Title X services in 2008 alone. So, the Republicans first argument is completely null and void, because no Title X funding is used for abortions!
By wiping out Title X funding, Republicans are ironically going to increase the abortion rate, since they will be disenfranchising millions of women and their partners from health care and birth control access. More unintended pregnancies = more abortions.
Secondly, this cut will DO NOTHING to help our $1.5 TRILLION budget deficit. $327 million / $1.5 trillion = 0.02%. This coming after a huge wave of tax CUTS Republicans held the House hostage for.
Even more ironic, cutting Title X funding will actually cost taxpayers MORE in the end. In November of 2006, the Guttmacher Institute released a study which indicated that for each dollar invested in Title X, approximately $3.80 was saved. This is because Title X programs emphasize preventative care. Guttmacher suggested that doubling funding would save the country $800 million dollars because it would prevent 244,000 unplanned pregnancies. So, if the Republicans really wanted to save the country money in the long run, they should actually support Title X programs.
Of course, none of the reasons they are providing are an approximation of the truth. The real truth -- as fucked up and illogical as it seems, is that Conservatives do not want women to have access to family planning and reproductive health care.
We encourage you to spread the word about this messed up movement and let your representatives know that you do not support this bill. The negative press surrounding their attempt to redefine rape got them to drop it, maybe we can do the same with this. Here's one for Planned Parenthood.