Obama Administration Moves to Ensure Anti-Abortion States Can’t Defund Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood has been under a constant onslaught of attacks from state governments, pro-life groups, and gun-toting terrorists practically since its inception, and recently that has reached a fever pitch. Now, however, it looks like the Obama Administration is taking decisive steps to prevent states from defunding Planned Parenthood or other reproductive care and family planning providers for frivolous or political reasons.
According to The Huffington Post’s senior politics reporter, Laura Bassett, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new rule that prevents states from withholding Title X federal family planning money–which comes from the federal government–from reproductive health care providers for any reason other than an “ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.”
That means states couldn’t take Title X funds from Planned Parenthood because the organization provides abortions.
Title X funds come from the federal government and are used to fund health services for low-income citizens. Millions of people, most of whom make below $25,000 a year, get contraception; cancer screenings; STD screens, services, and treatments;and other preventive and reproductive health care. Providing those services is essential to caring for people’s health, and it also saves the government a ton of money. Giving away condoms is cheaper than STD care or paying for the birth and raising of a new human being. Treating an STD in one person is cheaper than treating that STD in all the people who could get it from that one person.
About 70 percent of Title X funds go to Planned Parenthood, according to The Huffington Post. Planned Parenthood provides many reproductive services including cancer screenings, contraception, STD prevention and treatment, sex education, and more, for lots of people, not just women. On top of that, it is currently doing a lot to prevent the spread of ZIka in the US, too. Planned Parenthood is actually out there distributing “Zika-prevention” kits to people in Zika-infected areas. Florida is one of the states trying its hardest to defund Planned Parenthood, and Florida is currently estimated to have at least 84 pregnant women infected with Zika right now.
Of course, the people trying to defund Planned Parenthood are not happy about this new rule. Diane Black, a Republican representative from Tennessee, says it’s a “stunt” that goes beyond the power of the department of health and human services.
“We must use the full force of Congress and the grassroots strength of the national pro-life movement to defeat this absurd rule and prevent the Obama Administration from acting unilaterally to carry out political favors and prop up a scandal-ridden abortion provider,” she said.
The new rule will face a 30-day comment period before becoming permanent. According to The Huffington Post’s Bassett, that permanence seems likely. That would make Planned Parenthood services for low-income women a lot safer.