The Obama administration has awarded generous new federal family planning grants to Planned Parenthood (PP) in three states where funding was cut by Republican legislators after they gained control of the House in 2010. The states that will receive the grant money are New Jersey, Tennessee and North Carolina.
Of course, those who want to mandate their pro-life agenda are outraged. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement “Yesterday President Obama said he supports Planned Parenthood because he wants his two daughters to be able to ‘control their own health care choices.’ This morning we find that he once again is using euphemisms like ‘choice’ and ‘control’ to trample the rights of states and force pro-life taxpayers to fund the abortion business.”
Anti-abortion legislators and pro-life advocacy groups are enraged that The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found a way to continue the funding despite all their efforts to impose personal beliefs into our health care system.
North Carolina will get $426,000 from the Title X grant, almost three times more than they were getting from the state before they were cut off. As a result, they will now be able to expand services to include men and grow teen counseling programs. The New Jersey Family Planning League (NJFPL) received $3.1 million in federal funding for PP clinics and Tennessee was awarded $395,000 per year for the next three years.
Paige Johnson, a spokesperson for a Planned Parenthood clinic in Durham, revealed that they have never had to utilize HHS for Title X grants until now. The clinic was forced to turn to HHS as a result of the state’s halt on funding. Under federal law, HHS is required to award grants in an effort to grow women’s access to affordable health care in areas where women need it most.
Johnson told Huffington Post: “When you talk to these people that work in the federal family planning program, the people that work behind the scenes reading these grants, they’re public health advocates. They want people to receive the best care possible, and they’d like politics removed from it, They’re real believers in these programs, and they knew who delivers. We got the grant because we deliver for North Carolina.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of policy, advocacy and communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America said: “This is really about the women and men in this country who need high quality, affordable health care. Republican and Democratic administrations have for decades recognized the important role Planned Parenthood health centers play in the success of this national women’s health program.”
What this all boils down to is that Republicans want to overturn Roe v. Wade. They say they are pro-life but don’t seem to care about the low-income women who have no access to preventive health care, including cancer screenings and mammograms: you know, those tests that help to preserve life and the quality of it. No, they are happy to take all that away in the name of religious freedom.
Unless Democrats have a majority in both the House and the Senate, the Republicans will continue to fight against women’s rights and affordable health care. The pro-life arguments hold no water when you look at Arizona, where doctors have the right to withhold important medical information from pregnant patients, even when there is a life threatening issue. Why? In case, and only, in case the woman might be considering an abortion. So explain how this is pro-life? It can’t be explained. It’s hypocrisy and it needs to be voted out!
Kimberley A. Johnson is an author and The Spokeswoman for Rock The Slut Vote, an organization standing up and fighting the war on women. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and “like” the Rock The Slut Vote Facebook page