More States Defunding Planned Parenthood

Now that Planned Parenthood clinics are closing or suspending services in Indiana and Minnesota, the trumpets have blared, the angels have descended, and Jesus Christ himself has come down to say that even though the Bible says nothing about abortion, he’s pretty darn happy.

Oh, wait, that’s not it. Nope, now that clinics have closed, women and men won’t be able to access preventative health services, including cancer screenings. Way to protect lives, anti-choicers!

The Minnesota clinics, which didn’t provide abortions, were closed due to cuts in Title X funding. However, it’s not exactly a secret that anti-choice politicians opposed this funding, even though it cannot be used for abortions: according to Michele Bachmann’s office, “Taxpayer funds should not be directed to this heinous organization, especially at a time when our nation’s debt exceeds $14 trillion.”

It’s true that this country is dealing with a massive debt, and that needs to be addressed. But picking on the most vulnerable makes no sense. While I’ll spare everyone my rant about military spending and Bush-era tax cuts, I can’t resist pointing out that if the goal is to save money, then cutting services that provide affordable contraception and preventative health care seems to be a pretty ass-backwards way to do that.

The Indiana clinics will no longer receive Medicaid funds for non-abortion services (of course, thanks to Hyde, Medicaid very rarely covers abortion itself). While the defunding law went into effect on May 10, clinics had managed to stay open until this week, thanks to donor generosity; however, clinics will have to close for short periods as cost-cutting measures, and two of PP’s three STI specialists have been laid off. Planned Parenthood is seeking an injunction against the law; that decision is expected to come on July 1st. Meanwhile, adding insult to injury, the state has also decided that Planned Parenthood donors will not be able to receive a tax credit on their state income taxes.

Other states are eagerly following Indiana’s lead: North Carolina and Kansas have restricted state Medicaid funds; Wisconsin’s budget defunds Planned Parenthood; and Tennessee diverted Title X funds away from PP to local counties, even though the county where Planned Parenthood of Memphis is located has said that it might not be able to take over PP’s services. In response, the county has been asked to “think creatively” by the governor’s administration.

If the current defunding craze continues, we might all have to think creatively about how to access affordable, necessary, legal health services.

About Sarah:
Sarah's first book, Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement, will be out March 2013. For more information, follow her on Twitter @saraherdreich, or check out saraherdreich.com.

Comments

  1. “women and men won’t be able to access preventative health services, including cancer screenings. Way to save lives, anti-choicers!” First I’m anti-abortion NOT anti-choice (and why should be obvious by now). Second, I use Medicaid myself and have NEVER had to go to Planned Parenthood for reproductive health services-that’s what regular OB/GYN offices are for. Those folks who would be “denied” health care can go somewhere like that.

    • Robin, that’s great that you have access to “regular” OB/GYN offices. But it’s interesting that while you say you are not anti-choice, you seem fine with denying people the choice to access affordable health care. Because to say that people can just “go somewhere like that” glosses over the very real difficulties faced by too many people in this country, who don’t have a lot of affordable, accessible options. Because while it’s also nice to think that Medicaid will always work the way it’s supposed to, the reality, again, is that that’s not the case. Hence the importance of Planned Parenthood clinics.

      • Sarah–people should NOT have to go to Planned Parenthood for affordable reproductive health care. There should be regular OB/GYN’s in every city and town available for that. If Planned Parenthood can open up clinics in places in need, so can a regular doctor who accepts private pay AND medicaid. So NO I’m NOT “fine with denying people access to affordable health care”. People who are living at the poverty level (such as me) should NOT have to go to Planned Parenthood.

        • I know it’s hard for you to fathom, since you obviously don’t see too far beyond your own conditions and life, but there actually are some people who only have Planned Parenthood to access the health services they need because of money, or being uninsured (and not covered by Medicaid), or just because the locations of these clinics are convenient. Your privilege is your privilege, and isn’t necessarily shared by everybody else.

        • Robin, I’m not sure why you are so opposed to people using Planned Parenthood clinics for health services. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to – but why is it any of your business where someone else chooses to receive health care? Also, I’m not sure what you mean by “regular” OB/GYNs. The OB/GYNs at Planned Parenthood are licensed, educated physicians who can treat a wide range of reproductive health issues – seems pretty “regular” to me.

          • Sarah, I’m opposed to people using Planned Parenthood’s services because of the abortions that they do. Why is that any of my business? Well-if you felt something was morally wrong you would likely (I hope) speak up. Fetuses and embryos cannot defend themselves; (aside from known people who have survived abortion attempts and are now activists) others have to speak up on their behalf. Planned Parenthood is a “regular” clinic? Ah, no, they are synonomous with the abortion industry and that’s what they’re best known for. I’ve even seen banners/flyers put up by them stating they offer other services. And yes, the physicians are liscensed and educated, but it isn’t exactly a secret that many of them don’t exactly have a “cream of the crop” reputation. When I say “regular” clinics I’m talking about private practice OB/GYN’s or the public health’s clinic that offers reproductive health services sans abortion, as well as prenatal care. Oftentimes these doctors also are in family/pediatric practice.

            D, it’s “so hard for me to fathom?” You either need your eyesight checked or you need to read other’s posts a little more carefully. I SAID ~sigh~ that people should NOT have to go to Planned Parenthood and I also said that there should be regular OB/GYN’s in every city available for women to go to that accept private pay AND Mecicaid. In other words, I know Planned Parenthood is the only option in some places and that should NOT be the case. One other reason I wouldn’t to go Planned Parenthood, especialy in my town? If the front of the buildilng and the sign is any indicator-the place is filthy and disgusting. Not saying all Planned Parenthood’s are like that though.

          • So if you knew that an OB/GYN provided abortions in their practice, would you go to that doctor?

        • Guess what, Robin…NOT EVERYONE HAS MEDICAID. Is it really that difficult to understand? The #1 problem in this country is the attitude of “Well, I do this, so why can’t others?” Think about other people and have some perspective. Not everyone is you.

          • And only 3% of the services that PP provides every year are abortion-related. So no, that’s not what they’re best known for. At least not to people who are educated rather than completely ignorant, such as yourself. If you’re going to support having rights stripped away from your fellow woman, then I’m nothing but disgusted by you and your existence. Do some research, quit listening to the morons in Congress who blatantly LIE about what PP does to the public (like Jon Kyl of AZ), and maybe there’s hope for you yet.

            And anti-choice? You just flat out said you’re opposed to people using PP because they perform abortions. How is that not anti-choice? You’re only pro-what Robin wants.

          • Guess what, SanctiMorgan-I KNOW THAT NOT EVERYONE HAS MEDICAID!! There should be regular OB/GYN’S who take patient without insurance as well–God knows they make enough money to. The more I read your replies the more snark, snark, SNARK! I hear. Get off your high horse and realize that just because I’m Pro-Life doesn’t automatically make me an idiot. You’re just ASSuming. And you are wrong.

    • You’re really, truly, lucky to have access to another clinic. For a lot of women, local Planned Parenthoods are the only accessible clinics (physically and financially) that offer basic reproductive health care, in addition to all of the other services they provide. The concept of being “pro-choice” is multi-faceted. When you target a specific organization for offering ONE specific service, then you’re not just limiting a woman’s reproductive choice, but the also a her ability to choose where she receives her health care. Doesn’t really seem fair.

  2. Robin – 97% of Planned Parenthood’s services are not abortion-related. Just something to keep in mind.

  3. Serena-no I would not.

    Sarah, I’m aware of that-and I believe a lot of people who work for and support Planned Parenthood have the very best intentions, but that doesn’t justify abortions, (to me) and I can’t in good conscience go there…or an abortion clinic for other services.

  4. Robin, you don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood, but you not wanting to receive services at PP has no relevance to other people’s decisions. Even if you don’t mean to say that women should be denied access to whatever clinic providing the health services they need, and are only saying that you don’t like women having to go to PP because PP offers abortion…still, what any business is that of yours? Abortion is a legal medical procedure, and women often choose to have it and sometimes need to have the procedure done. Why is all of that relevant to you when it’s not service you’re receiving, not your health in question, and not your body or your pregnancy to decide on?

    It is sad that there aren’t more options for women to receive the health services they need, but not at all because there are some clinics that provide abortions. In fact, it’s sad that even clinics that don’t provide abortions but are just simply known as a “women’s health clinic” still catch a lot of hell because people assume that abortions are being performed there. Pro-lifers are helping to shut clinics like these down with all the harping about the evils of birth control and contraception as well as abortion, and just being up in arms over women having control over their own health in general. People who think like you are part of the reason why women don’t have more options when it comes to seeing about their health.

    I don’t understand how you can bemoan the fact that there aren’t more options for women’s clinics, yet be on the side that’s contributed to this problem by working so hard to intrude upon women’s rights and access TO these clinics. Are you just confused or what?

  5. In answer to your first question D, the reason it’s relevant to me is:

    In case you haven’t noticed our country is BROKE. Cuts are going to have to be made in some places. I think Planned Parenthood should be one of the first on the chopping block. It may be “service I’m not recieving, not my health in question, and not my body or pregnancy to decide on” but it doesn’t change the fact that I and a lot of other people believe abortion is the taking of innocent human life, and we DO. NOT. WANT. OUR. TAX. DOLLARS. FUNDING. IT.!!! And yes I know Planned Parenthood purportedly does not use that funding for abortion but considering how often they’ve been caught skirting the law on other issues-it wouldn’t surprise me if some of our tax money DID end up going right to abortion.

    If what you are referring to are Planned Parenthood clinics that catch hell because people assume abortions are performed there, yes they need to do their research. The clinics that I’m aware of that pro-lifers help shut down are mainly abortion and Planned Parenthood clinics that dont follow basic health and safety regulations. The ones who are up in arms over birth control and contraception (uhm, aren’t they the same thing)?? Not all pro-lifers feel that way, I sure as hell don’t and you have NO RIGHT trying to demonize me for things I don’t even believe with your “I don’t understand how you can bemoan the fact that there aren’t more options for women’s clinics, yet be on the side that’s contributed to this problem by working so hard to intrude upon women’s rights and access TO these clinics. Are you just confused or what?”

    Actually I AM. Cuz last I checked, it takes a lot of money, a lot of know how and a lot of time to start up a major, nationally recognized organization that supports my beliefs in women’s rights, access to birth control, and opposes abortion. I struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis. So you’ll have to excuse me if starting up a whole new, revolutionary pro-life organization isn’t exactly my number one priority. Are you trying to tell me that just because I don’t agree with everything that all the pro-life organizations do about birth control that I’m no longer allowed to be pro-life??? EXCUSE YOU???? Well I hate to burst your bubble but I would guess many pro-lifers believe in birth control just like me.

    So yes I CAN bemoan the fact that there aren’t more options out there for women. They should be able to go to a regular OB/GYN that doesn’t provide abortions and provides every service they’d get from Planned Parenthood (except abortion) plus probably be able to get regularl checkups at the same place, prenatal care, and have a good chance of finding a pediatrician.

    You’re pro-choice aren’t you D? Then you should understand and support my right to choose to be pro-life even if I think there should be an organization that doesn’t demonize birth control.

    • So, um, who’s going to pay for the “regular” OB/GYN? Unicorns? And considering you’re on Medicaid, you have no room to bitch about the country being broke. NONE. Also, uninsured women with no money who give birth to children because people like you “stick up for fetuses” is costing our country more money than funding all the PP’s that are currently operating. GOOD JOB! You don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about! For every $1 spent on PP, the state saves $3-$4. So how about you cut the act and admit you don’t want women getting abortions because YOU DON’T LIKE IT instead of pretending that you’re not anti-choice, or that you don’t like PP because they cost taxpayers money. You’re currently costing taxpayers thousands more every year than a woman getting an abortion at PP. Maybe we should take your choices away and see how much you like it.

      • Excuse you, Morgan? Because I happen to be struggling to make ends meet I don’t have a right to speak up????? Excuse me if working 30 hours a week (and I couldn’t accept extra hours) and going to school, PLUS volunteering at my then 3 yr old’s preschool wasn’t a living wage. What the hell?

        “uninsured women with no money who give birth to children because people like you ‘stick up for fetuses’ (a fetus is a human being too, sweetie, and they can’t exactly speak up for themselves, mkay?) is costing our country more money than funding all the PP’s that are currently operating. GOOD JOB!”

        *NEWSFLASH*!!!!! I’m not the one who decided that abortion should be way cheaper than adoption. I’m not putting on any act, EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. I typed is exactly how I feel. I’ve made NO attempt to hide the fact that I dislike abortion. I do think that many Planned Parenthood’s are well-intended but misguided. But I DO disagree-strongly-with the abortion aspect of it. So guess what, SanctiMorgan??? I AM. NOT. PRETENDING. THAT. I’M. NOT. ANTI-CHOICE. I’m anti-abortion. I support every other choice, birth control included (with the exception of methods that prevent implantation).

        I’m currently costing the taxpayers thousands more every year than a woman getting an abortion at PP? Well maybe if when I am teaching kids at preschool 30 hours a week, (not currently, btw-unemployed currently) I should be payed a LIVING WAGE. As in, enough to cover the basic cost of living????

        “Maybe we should take your choices away and see how much you like it.” How incredibly juvenile! Ever heard of “two wrongs don’t make a right?” Perhaps you should get back to class though-your high school class bell rang 5 minutes ago. Chop-chop! ;)

        • You keep saying “there should be a regular OB/GYN,” but THAT’S NOT THE WAY IT IS. You don’t seem to have the slightest clue as to the health care needs of women and what’s available to us in this country. And I love how you try to pull the whole “two wrongs don’t make a right” thing. Nice work. Honestly, I don’t feel that people like you who are working to take rights away deserve the same rights as everyone else. You need a taste of your own medicine. And I really hope you’re not pro-death penalty, otherwise your hypocrisy is off the friggin’ charts.

          In response to your reply above, I’m not assuming you’re stupid, you’re doing a great job of making yourself look that way. Funny how you’re not refuting any of the facts I gave you about PP’s funding and how they use it. That’s because you’ve got nothing other than the stupid thoughts in that tiny little brain of yours. Seriously, I really don’t care what your wages are, that doesn’t give you a right to suck up government money and turn around and condemn PP’s funding. I wouldn’t want someone like you teaching my children. That’s for DAMN sure!

          I’m also not really sure you can call me immature and then use my name in various insulting ways in the same damn paragraph. Man, you really are a hypocrite, aren’t you? It’s obviously something that comes very naturally to you.

          Yeah, I’m snarky. Handle it. Or keep your ridiculous, ignorant opinions to yourself and you won’t have to.

          • Yes I keep saying there should be a regular OB/GYN. And I know “THAT’S NOT THE WAY THAT IT IS.” Operative word being “should?” (Helloooo???-Maybe posting at 12:20am isn’t a good idea unless you’re awake enough to use common sense. *snort!*) As in-they could use the money that’s funding Planned Parenthood and use it to make regular OB/GYN’s more accesible? I have nothing other than the supid thoughts inside my tiny brain? Excuse you but my brain is just fine, thank you very much. If you don’t really care what my wages are, then DO. NOT. TELL. ME. WHAT. I. HAVE. A RIGHT. TO. BITCH. ABOUT. OR. NOT!!!!!!!!!! If I was paid L-I-V-I-N-G W-A-G-E-S I would NOT have to be on Medicaid! I would either have insurance through my employer or be able to afford to buy my own!! I don’t have much of a choice when it comes to “sucking up government money” unless you think that my rights that should be taken away include my right to see MY OB/GYN. And if I don’t like Planned Parenthood’s funding, guess what-I have EVERY. RIGHT. to say what I think. It’s called America. Either deal with it or move to a country that doesn’t believe in free speech. I wouldn’t want someone like YOU coming into MY children’s school and shoving YOUR bs down my kids throat either. “Oh it’s OK if you knock a girl up, sweetie, just send her to Planned Parenthood and she can ‘get rid’ of the ‘problem’ (basically a sanitary way of saying take her unborn child’s life).

            You didn’t assume I was stupid, I’m “making myself look that way” Put in quotes how.

            I didn’t refute any of your facts? If you are referring to where you mentioned that Planned Parenthood claims that only 3% of their services are for abortions-I DON”T CARE. It doesn’t suddenly make abortion Ok.

            As for your snark defense–if I don’t like you being snarky when I had started off making an effort to be friendly my way of dealing with it is to tell you off. So you can get over it or take your snark and shove it up your ass!

  6. Rebecca says:

    Do you happen to know what states defunded Planned Parenthood?

    And if you’re going to be mad, take it up with Lila Rose. She’s the one taking on Planned Parenthood.

  7. And who’s going to pay for the regular OB/GYN’S? Not unicorns, idiot-the SAME- FUNDS- THAT WOULD- HAVE- ONCE- FUNDED- PLANNED- PARENTHOOD!!! *Slaps forehead*

    Was that honestly necessary to spell out?

  8. ConsSthnLady says:

    All this bickering back and forth is crazy. No one has made the most valid points. First, I am dead-set against abortion and abortifacients, but I am pro-choice because the CHOICE should be not to get pregnant in the first place. Secondly, abortion is murder. Jesus never said abortion is wrong?? He spoke of innocent children and said that anyone who harmed one of them would be better off if a millstone were hung about his neck and he were cast into the sea. (Matt. 18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2) He didn’t specifically say unborn children because those people knew the Law of Moses concerning any man who caused a woman to lose her unborn child. (If he did it on purpose, the punishment was death.) There is ONE main problem in our country and that is the disregard by so many people of God and His Laws. Don’t believe in God? He IS and you can’t find a logical argument to prove He isn’t. Think Christians are hypocrites? Yes, a lot are, but I will sit on the pew with and work side by side with hypocrites for the Lord so I don’t have to spend eternity with them. If Americans who rage against God would simply open their hearts and learn about TRUE Christianity, they would find that every command from God is for our own good and are commands that will allow us long-term happiness in this life. SIN is anything that is destructive to another person or that dishonors God. Abortion is destructive to the unborn child and the mother, both physically and emotionally. The more we disregard sin in this country, the more problems we are going to have, simply because that is the way the world works, and while God loves every soul and wants us to love Him and He would like to protect us all from every harm, He does not allow us to avoid the consequences of our sins. America is in the position we are because there is so much sin and corruption. People know right from wrong just from natural instincts, and people of the world know how Christians are supposed to act. If people would just CHOOSE to abstain from doing wrong, even if they don’t believe in God, our country would be a lot better for everyone. Part of the social problem is that government has subsidized sin, on the one hand, basically paying women to have children with no father in the home, and on the other hand, paying for killing unwanted children. Christians feel that using money we pay in taxes to pay for abortions puts us in a position of being a part of the sin. If Planned Parenthood wants to continue butchering women and providing ways for people to fornicate “safely”, let them take donations from people like Bill Gates who wants to see the world population reduced by 70%.

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