Well, there you have it. The Senate has voted to leave decisions of funding Planned Parenthood to the states. It took a vote from Vice President Mike Pence to succeed, but succeed Republicans have. However, what exactly is it that they’ve just accomplished?
Planned Parenthood performs a wide variety of procedures: primarily to do with Women’s health, but men can benefit, too. The vast majority of their procedures have to do with STD screenings and treatment, but they are also very involved with cancer screenings, birth control, and sex education. This all sounds awesome. Planned Parenthood clinics are often the only facility that can offer these amenities to low-income women and families. They are a very big deal, and we don’t have any other facilities that can compete with them on a national scale. Since 3% of their procedures involve abortions, though, most Republican politicians vehemently oppose Planned Parenthood.
Let’s backtrack here for a second. Whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, you have to admit that Planned Parenthood’s other forms of aid are immensely useful. In many respects, they’re straight-up necessary. People need to have access to STD and cancer screenings. Women need access to affordable birth control. Planned Parenthood would much prefer to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
And on top of all that, federal funding doesn’t even go towards abortions in Planned Parenthood!! The Hyde Amendment from 1976 doesn’t allow federal funds to be used for abortions. Which means the Republicans are throwing a hissy fit over something that the federal government doesn’t even do, anyway. It’s ridiculous. It’s a waste of federal resources. Its only goal is to hurt the poor who need these facilities.
You know what really bothers me? Aside from the fact that only 12% of Americans oppose funding Planned Parenthood as long as those funds have nothing to do with abortions (which, as I already established, they do not).
What really bothers me in all this is who is going to get hurt. As Congress has left funding up to the states, it isn’t the liberal states who are going to be affected. Their state governments have their back, just as their state governments have already been deciding whether to provide state funding for abortions (and under what circumstances) all along. So, it’s the poor people in conservative states–in most cases, the economically weak states with the highest rate of poverty-stricken constituents. They’re going to suffer the most, and they’re about to have a lot more unwanted pregnancies.
So, thanks, middle- to later-aged white guys of the Senate! You just took away all the choices available to a lot of poor women when federal funds weren’t even used for abortions anyway. You’re all a bunch of dicks.