Women’s rights are under attack thanks to a handful of politicians who wish to politicize women’s reproductive health. Last month House Republicans voted to block federal funding of Planned Parenthood, cutting funds for contraceptives, breast exams, cervical cancer screenings, pap smears and HIV testing. The vote passed 240 to 185. Republicans are turning the national discussion into an abortion issue. But it isn’t about abortion. Cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood is about stripping women, in particularly those from a low-income demographic, of their rights.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) introduced the amendment to cut Planned Parenthood’s federal funding with the argument that defunding was necessary to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions. Pence and supporters of the amendment completely ignore what is written in plain English, in black and white. Title X specifically prohibits Planned Parenthood from using federal funds for abortion services.

Women across the country depend on the services provided by Planned Parenthood. Oftentimes the services are affordable, preventative and for some women it is the only option for reproductive healthcare. For that reason Planned Parenthood is necessary.

What do Republicans have to gain from defunding Planned Parenthood?

I’d opine it would free up federal funds for programs Republicans would like to initiate. Perhaps it would set-up a push for an overturn of Roe v. Wade. Separation of church and state means very little when pro-lifers have an agenda they would like coerced upon all American women. The Republican Party also understands poor women en masse benefit from Planned Parenthood. If poor women are denied access to contraceptives, and even abortion services, it becomes inevitable that those very women will perpetuate the cycle of poverty. It is ironic that the same folks on Capitol Hill crying foul against taxpayer dollars funding abortions will be the same ones complaining that women having babies they can’t support suck the system dry. What’s next? More cuts on social reform with accusations of taxpayers’ dollars supporting the “welfare queen” Reagan invented in his 1976 election campaign?

Faux concerns about taxpayer dollars is such bull. For those of us who oppose war, can we be guaranteed our taxes aren’t being used to fund the very wars we don’t agree with?

The abortion and Planned Parenthood debate is telling of the direction this country’s politics are moving toward. From the loose terminology being used by Republicans as to what constitutes rape to the defunding of Planned Parenthood, it won’t be long before women are marching in the streets again for basic rights.

We need to make sure the decisions made about our bodies are led and directed by women. Whether pro-life or pro-choice, this is too important of an issue to remain silent. Women have the right to the services offered by Planned Parenthood. That right shouldn’t be compromised for a pro-life movement designed to strip women of their right to choose.

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  • Margaret Sanger was racist because of her view, ideas and plan, she was not racist because of her physical body. Her physical body is dead, thank goodness, however her ideas and plan is still alive! Those who side with her ideas against Black Women are also racist, even if they are themself Black. Maybe it can be called intracide, or self murder or suicide.

  • Used to do

    Thanks for this article Clutch! I am a user of Planned Parenthood and its services. It is such a same how callous politics has become or rather has been. To undercut a organization which works effectively in aiding women represents the era in which we are living in and it may only become worse as we progress or rather regress during the upcoming years…

  • Loquacious

    “We need to make sure the decisions made about our bodies are led and directed by us.” -Bene Viera

    I agree. Therefore, the federal government should stop allocating money to Planned Parenthood. PRIVATE CITIZENS, like yourself, who stand by Planned Parenthood should support it financially, not the federal government. Stop looking to the government and Americans’ collective tax dollars to support something that’s concerns your body and is a “private matter.”

  • T

    Another thing to remember is that it isn’t only women who use services at Planned Parenthood. Men use services as well for STD testing/education/treatment. As a former patient and employee, I am outraged that the House and Senate approved this. The rights and resources of uninsured and lower-income individuals are targeted and being taken away. Especially at a time when so many are struggling, it is a shame that the one place where people who may not have other options can be treated and tested for diseases and cervical cancer. Abortion is only one thing that Planned Parenthood does. But most of its services are for prevention and education.