Gagflex: The Killing of Planned Parenthood

I was going to open this by saying that Tennessee and America in general likes nothing more than to kick itself in the face. But all the states including Tennessee that have started the process of defunding Planned Parenthood aren’t giving self-inflicted wounds so much as they are just inflicting more pain upon poor people. If you want to get more specific about it, they’re hurting poor women.

Governor Haslam is taking over the grant that was shared with Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee and funneling those funds to other organizations like the Nashville Department of Health. After accepting the money, the Department of Health isn’t contractually bound to serve the same number of people as Planned Parenthood, probably because they can’t. It’s likely that more tax dollars would be needed to offer that same service that Planned Parenthood offered.

This whole issue is based on the fact that Planned Parenthood offers in-clinic abortions and “pro-lifers” across the country are blowing their angry tops at the thought of their tax dollars going to perform someone’s abortion. This is in spite of specific language in the law that prevents tax dollars from going towards ending a pregnancy. Pro-life groups are pulling the strings for our political puppets like Haslam. They are keeping score by counting the dollars that have been withheld from Planned Parenthood, and the figures are being posted on sba-list.org. As of this moment, over $60 million has been withheld from eight different states including Tennessee.

Since not a single nickel of the $60 million was going to be used to pay for a single abortion, then you have to ask what services are being affected by this monetary loss. Abortions make up 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s business. The other 97 percent is composed of cancer screenings, STD screenings and treatment, pregnancy screenings and counseling, and various other services that aren’t abortions either. The people that are affected the most are women who don’t have funds pay a general practitioner. But the pro-lifers don’t care about the living. How ironic is that? Ill-informed pro-lifers would rather feed their backwards sense of morality than help the people who live in their communities. Same goes for the politicians that are stalking reelection like bloodhounds.

Planned Parenthood has received federal assistance since 1970, when Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act. It was a bipartisan effort. Those days are long gone since Republicans bound their election campaigns to religiosity. Republican offices are held hostage by Christianity and are ransomed to the candidates that will toe the line. The hypocrisy is that the left brain Republican is the fiscal conservative that is now becoming bound to the Tea Party, and the Tea Party argues for free market values and less government control. What’s more, controlling than removing funding from a private company that serves the community and feeding it to another government program? The modern Republican view is apparently that we can privatize all programs as long as those private industries are supporting their campaigns, and they’re against privatization as long as their pocketed special interest groups are against it. If only poor people didn’t have to spend all their money on things like feeding their children, then maybe they could afford to buy one of those pricey Republicans.



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