GOP Defunding Planned Parenthood Is Misogyny, Not Pro-Life
In what will surprise no one, the GOP has yet again attacked reproductive rights, as President Trump has signed a law that allows states to withhold federal money from organizations that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood.
This move has already been hailed by Paul Ryan as another ‘pro-life victory.’
At this point, these talking points can write themselves: a bit of hype about ‘preserving life,’ a dash of pride about ‘standing up to abortion providers,’ and stir in a good dose of self righteousness, largely from lawmakers who are somehow thrilled to be virulently anti-reproductive rights and dangerous to the health of anyone who depends on the services Planned Parenthood provides.
The fact is that defunding Planned Parenthood and organizations like it has never been about promoting life, but is a blatant effort to punish women and the poor for seeking to control of their reproductive decisions.
The bulk of these services are essential to to the 20.2 million women in the United States who require publicly funded family planning organizations. Of these, only 3% are abortions.
Planned Parenthood services breakdown:
- 4,970,000 women, men, and young people worldwide are provided with sexual and reproductive health care, education and outreach by Planned Parenthood in a year.
- 75% of Planned Parenthood patients have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
- 323,999 abortions were performed in 2014.
- 579,000 unintended pregnancies are estimated to be averted by Planned Parenthood contraceptive services per year.
- 1.1 million pregnancy tests done in 2014.
- 17,419 people received prenatal care from Planned Parenthood in 2014.
- 4.2 million STD screenings and treatment, including for HIV.
- 270,000 pap smears (cervical cancer screening) per year.
- 360,000 breast exams per year.
- As per its 2013–14 annual report, Planned Parenthood participated in more than 70 research projects.
- According to the Guttmacher Institute, publicly funded family planning in 2014 helped women avoid 2 million unintended pregnancies.
The fact that the GOP continues to strike out at Planned Parenthood as though it were the Tower of Abortions exposes them as being unbalanced, and sliding ever further out of touch with the country, and indeed a world, where reproductive rights are increasingly being recognized as essential to economic and social progress.