Ever since Republicans swept into state and federal offices in the 2010 midterm elections, many have been on a crusade to defund Planed Parenthood.
While Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a measure to defund the organization, the bill stalled in the Senate, allowing Planned Parenthood to continue providing medical services to low-income people. However, many states have taken the step to defund the organization, and we are now finding out it has very dire consequences.
In May Indiana passed a law defunding Planned Parenthood, stripping the organization of its Medicaid funding. Because most of Planned Parenthood’s clients have little or no income, the organization relied heavily on Medicaid funds to pay for treatment for its patients. But the loss of Medicaid funding means that Planned Parenthood has had to turn away thousands of individuals in Indiana who rely on its services.
The Associated Press reports:
Planned Parenthood began turning away Medicaid patients who couldn’t pay for its medical services Tuesday, one day after private donations that had paid those patients’ bills ran out.
A state law that took effect May 10 denied Planned Parenthood the Medicaid funds it uses to pay for general health services it provides to low-income women at its 28 Indiana clinics. The group is seeking a preliminary injunction to block Indiana’s law, and a ruling is expected by July 1.
Although conservatives claim Planned Parenthood is simply an abortion factory, the majority of its services, over 97-percent, include offering free or low-cost health care to women and men. Cancer screening, access to birth control, pap tests, STD testing, and general medical services are just a few of the things Planned Parenthood does to keep our nation’s most vulnerable residents healthy, but these services are in jeopardy.
Once again, political debates are being fought on the backs of the most vulnerable. By defunding Planned Parenthood Republicans will not only be preventing women from obtaining birth control, but forcing many into motherhood without giving them the support or health care necessary to keep themselves healthy.