Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Dear US Congress: Do not throw women under the bus
So last week there was brinksmanship (and yes, men, most of them are still men) in the US Congress over the federal budget. And over federal funding for Title X which supports women's health care services which includes Planned Parenthood. PP provides many health services for women, including abortion. Which is the key issue. Pro-lifers and conservatives want to take away the funding to PP, which is about 0.1% of the US federal budget, because of abortion. Federal funds already cannot be used to provide abortions. Not that that stops the rhetoric and political grand standing. Sen. John Kyl, in his argument to taking away funding for women's services, said that 90% of what PP does is provide abortions. That got people talking and fact-checking and it turns out that abortions is only 3% of PP's services. 90%, 3%, they're close, right? Kyl then released a statement saying that he didn't intent that to be a factual statement. WTF? Of course Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were all over it. Here's a link to an NPR article about it. I love how Colbert just loses it and has to stifle his laughter during his monologue. Funding for PP for now has been preserved. But last week I was so very afraid that in the political horsetrading on the federal budget, that funding for women's health care would be sacrificed for political expediency, to avoid a gov't shutdown. I wrote to my Congressmen -- and they are all men -- saying all the above. Saying that for years, when I was in college, PP was my only source of health care, of gyn services, and yes birth control so I wouldn't get pregnant and thus avoid the need for an abortion. Fortunately, my Rep is John Lewis, civil rights leader since his work with MLK, and has consistently been a supporter of women's rights. Unfortunately, my 2 Sens are both conservative and the auto reply I got from them say they are anti-choice and will fight to strip funding for abortion providers. It got me so pissed I wrote back again to say: Federal funding is already banned from providing abortions! Stop with the anti-woman political grandstanding! The fight continues.