GOP Would Shut Down Govt Rather Than Fund Planned Parenthood
At midnight tonight, in all likelihood, there will be a federal shutdown. And when this happens, it won’t be over jobs, or the economy—the issues the Republicans claimed they rode into victory on this past election season. It will be over women’s rights—to safe, affordable health care. To choice. To provisions for her and her child (if she so chooses to have one)—provisions that don’t stop once a child is born. It will be over contraceptive services, sex ed, STI and HIV testing, cervical and breast cancer screenings. It will be over aid to the UN Population Fund, which supports family planning services in poor international communities where those services might otherwise not exist. It will be over life. Not “life” as the GOP seems to define it (meaning if you aren’t male, right-wing, or a fetus, you aren’t worthy of protection) but real lives that can and will be irrevocably damaged if these organizations are stripped of funding.
As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, “We’ve been close on the cuts for days. The only things—I repeat, the only things—holding up an agreement are two of their so-called social issues: women’s health and clean air.”
Not to mention—and really, it should be said over and over again, because the GOP just doesn’t seem to get it—the Hyde Amendment already prohibits federal funding for abortion services. Taxpayer dollars are not funding abortions—and only 3% of the services Planned Parenthood offers are abortion related. The other 97% of the services they offer are strictly (and vitally) health-related. Services that are necessary no matter who you are, no matter what your current relationship status, no matter if you’ve slept with twenty people or no one at all. Defunding Planned Parenthood shows that all the GOP’s talk of the value of life is just talk—because their actions show they really don’t give a damn about women or their children. And this is most definitely a situation where actions speak louder than words.
The New York Times points out the GOP is also seeking:
• No local financing for abortion services in the District of Columbia.
• No regulation of greenhouse gases by the Environmental Protection Agency.
• No funds for health care reform or the new consumer protection bureau established in the wake of the financial collapse.
Essentially, the GOP would rather throw a “moral” hissy fit, “furloughing 800,000 federal workers, suspending paychecks for soldiers and punishing millions of Americans who will have to wait for tax refunds, Social Security applications, small-business loans, and even most city services in Washington”—all of which are sure to fix a tumultuous economy still struggling to recover from the last shortfalls of the GOP.
In these last few hours, what it boils down to is this: how much of a backbone do the Democrats have? And how far are Republicans willing to go in pushing an increasingly extremist agenda that will jeopardize millions of lives, here and abroad?
Gandhi said you can judge a society most effectively by how they treat their women. How we treat our women still, critically, remains to be seen.
MORE FROM MICHELLE KOUFOPOULOS
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