New attacks against health provider Planned Parenthood have been springing up across the country since Republicans took office in state and federal houses in the 2010 midterm elections.
In the past few months, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund the organization, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels signed a law defunding Planned Parenthood, and apparently Wisconsin and Texas are on the verge of doing the same.
Despite conservative rhetoric that claims Planned Parenthood does little more than help women get abortions, the organization is one of the largest providers of health care services for low income individuals, offering everything from cancer screenings to STD testing and treatment. Last year, only three-percent of the organizations’ services were abortions, while the majority, upwards of 35-percent, were providing contraception to men and women.
In spite of the work Planned Parenthood has done for low income communities, Republicans seem hell bent on stripping its funding. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a budget over the weekend cutting the already reduced funding to Planned Parenthood, while Texas is poised to become the largest state to pass a health care reform bill that will defund the organization.
Planned Parenthood isn’t taking the attacks lightly, however. The organization is fighting back in court and have made progress in some of the cases. In Kansas, Planned Parenthood sued the state for blocking its funding, and a federal judge in Indiana granted a preliminary injunction against the bill defunding the organization which allowed Planned Parenthood offices in Indiana to begin seeing Medicaid patients again. In North Carolina, Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed a bill that would require a 24-hour waiting period and an ultrasound for women seeking abortion.
Despite Republican lawmakers’ intrusion into women’s wombs, many claim to fight for “small government.” I guess for women, “smaller government” means telling us what we can and cannot do with our bodies.