Are Republicans pro-life for everyone except women?
Republicans may have lost the first round, but the battle to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s federal funding is far from over. In the week following the federal budget compromise, many prominent GOP social conservatives, including Republican presidential hopefuls like Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul, have joined Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) in rallying the base to defund Planned Parenthood.
The Republicans argue that taxpayer dollars should not be spent on subsidizing abortion. It’s ironic that Congressional lawmakers like Pence and Bachmann aren’t aware that existing federal law, the Hyde Amendment, already bars federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services.
More importantly, what Republicans seem to conveniently ignore is the fact that 97% of the services that Planned Parenthood provide are low-cost but critical health care services for women such as:
- Breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer screenings and preventive care services (According to the National Cancer Institute, 12,200 new cases of cervical cancer, 207,090 new cases of breast cancer, and 21,880 new cases of ovarian cancer were reported in the United States in 2010. Cervical cancer claimed 4,210 lives (34.5% mortality rate), breast cancer claimed 39,840 lives (19.2% mortality rate), and ovarian cancer claimed 13,850 lives (63.3% mortality rate) in 2010.)
- Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) like Syphilis, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Herpes, HPV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and many more
- Low-cost birth control for women
- Women’s health services like treatment of (painful and uncomfortable) yeast and urinary tract infections
- General preventive care like cholesterol and diabetes screenings
- Abortion makes up only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s overall health care services
Planned Parenthood provides affordable health care to more than 3 million Americans every year, and many of the patients are low-to-moderate income women who are uninsured or under-insured. The non-profit organization receives a third of its $1.1 billion annual budget from federal Medicaid and Title X funds. Defunding Planned Parenthood means denying life-saving health care services to women who need them the most.
Republican social conservatives preach so much about the sanctity of the (unborn) life, but they push for policies that reveal disdain for women’s lives. The discrepancy between the GOP’s moral values and the impact of their actions begs the question: Are Republicans “pro-life” for everyone except women?
- ABCNews.com: Planned Parenthood at center of budget shutdown threat
- USAToday.com: Understanding the shutdown fight over women’s health
- HuffingtonPost.com: Potential GOP presidential contenders: defund Planned Parenthood
- Politico.com: Michele Bachmann burns up Iowa, decries gay marriage
- LATimes.com: Planned Parenthood in demand even amid uncertain future
- CBSNews.com: Harry Reid: We won’t budge on Planned Parenthood
- Planned Parenthood’s website for health services
- Planned Parenthood’s online action center
- Cancer.gov: Cervical cancer statistics in the United States
- Cancer.gov: Breast cancer statistics in the United States
- Cancer.gov: Ovarian cancer statistics in the United States
Category: Current Events, Election 2012, Human Rights, News, Politics, Tax Dollars at Work · Tags: abortion, anti-abortion, balanced budget, birth control, breast cancer screening, budget compromise, cervical cancer screening, Congressman Mike Pence, drastic budget cuts, federal budget, GOP, government shutdown, Haley Barbour, health care, health insurance, Hyde Amendment, life-saving, low-income, Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Mitt Romney, moderate-income, moral values, Newt Gingrich, ovarian cancer screening, Planned Parenthood, presidential election 2012, Republican, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, sexually transmitted diseases, social conservatives, STD, taxpayer-subsidized, Tim Pawlenty, Title X, under-insured, uninsured, women's health