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As members of the anti-choice Republican and Tea Party House majority debated allowing women to die to salve the consciences of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and using the tax code to virtually eliminate insurance coverage for abortion in the United States, they also took another brazen step by moving to dismantle Title X, the nation's family planning program.

Written by Jodi Jacobson for RHRealityCheck.org - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

As members of the anti-choice Republican and Tea Party House majority debated allowing women to die to salve the "consciences" of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and using the tax code to virtually eliminate insurance coverage for abortion in the United States, the GOP/Tea Party majority took another brazen step.

It moved to dismantle Title X, the nation's family planning program.

The House Appropriations Committee announced in a press release today a  $327 million cut to family planning.  For FY 2010, $317 million was  appropriated for the Title X program, but the President’s FY11 budget  request was for $327 million.

"Today, the House Leadership launched its latest outrageous attack on  women’s health," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood  Federation of America. "The House Leadership’s FY 2011 Continuing  Resolution proposes to completely eliminate the Title X family planning  program, which has connected millions of  American women with health  care since Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1970."

Put another way, the House Appropriations Committee wants to ensure that more low-income women experience unintended and untenable pregnancies, and that they are then forced to bring those to term.  And along the way, by cutting Title X, Congress will also ensure that more women die of breast and cervical cancer and more people suffer from sexually transmitted infections.  This is dictatorship over women's lives.

"Unbelievably," Richards continued, "the House Leadership has set its sights on abolishing a program that provides lifesaving and preventive care to millions of women and saves taxpayers money by helping women plan their families.  This is an extreme proposal, and the new leaders of the House are pushing it forward at great risk to women and at their own political peril."

Title X provides millions of women across the country with access to basic primary and preventive care, such as lifesaving cancer screenings, contraception, STI testing and treatment,  and annual exams.  In fact, six in ten women who access care from a  family planning health center consider it to be their main source of  health care. In 2009 alone, Title X providers performed  2.2 million Pap tests, 2.3  million breast exams, and over six million tests for sexually  transmitted infections (STIs), including nearly a million HIV tests.

"Under the guise of cutting the budget, the House Leadership is launching an all-out assault on women’s health.  The simple fact is, family planning programs like Title X save money.  For every public dollar invested in family planning, taxpayers save nearly $4.

"[This] proposal to eliminate the Title X program is bad policy, bad politics, and flat out immoral," stated Richards.  "That’s why we urge Congress to reject this dangerous proposal."

And if they really represented the people of this country, they would indeed reject it.

The Center for American Progress highlights a CBS/New York Times poll  showing that a majority of Americans oppose cuts to health care.

"The  CBS/New York Times survey found that people want the deficit reduced  through spending cuts rather than tax increases by a margin of 77  percent to 9 percent, but they oppose cuts for health care and education  as a means of reducing the deficit — by a margin of 67 percent to 27  percent. Rank-and-file Republicans were more willing to cut these  programs than either Democrats or independents but they still rejected  such cuts by a margin of 52 percent to 40 percent."

It would appear that the current House leadership is brazenly ignoring the "will of the American people" they are so fond of citing and working instead to impose its own ideology, and build a power base upon a combination of corporate and special interest money from religious fundamentalist groups.

But again, as we know from recent events in Egypt and elsewhere, that's what dictators do.

Originally posted to RH Reality Check on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 08:53 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Family Planning's Against the Lord (10+ / 0-)

    They've been promising to do all this for 40 years.

    Some of us have been pointing out what they've been promising and how they've been working toward delivering for 40 years.

    Welcome to our world, Democrats.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 08:56:18 AM PST

  •  what is the end game here? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, Pandoras Box, Amber6541

    follow the money.

    Thank you, Keith Olbermann

    by LivesInAShoe on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 09:10:33 AM PST

  •  Why is it (9+ / 0-)

    That its women's health care that always gets cut?  God forbid you make any cuts to anything related to men's health.  The brew-ha-ha over insurance coverage of viagra demonstrates what happens if any cuts are made to men's health care.  It would be nice if one of these many bills that force women to have babies contained some language that forces the fathers to pay the medical costs of the pregnancy and delivery and then the health costs for the child after birth.

  •  Disgusting, (6+ / 0-)

    There will never be an end to this crazy battle.  It should be over and done with, but no...never.

    "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

    by Pandoras Box on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 09:31:11 AM PST

  •  It's like the war saying "Kill them all and (4+ / 0-)

    let God sort them out."

    Congress wants to kill the funding for ANYTHING relating to women's health, just to make sure women can't have access to abortion.

    There is just no reasoning with these people because they see contraception as akin to abortion.

    I am bewildered why there isn't more pushback on this, but apparently many women just assume that Planned Parenthood and NARAL will fight for their rights, so they don't have to worry about it.

    They are SO wrong.

    HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

    by HylasBrook on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 09:43:39 AM PST

  •  Ah, Ha...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IARXPHD, Calamity Jean

    As members of the anti-choice Republican and Tea Party House majority debated allowing women to die to salve the consciences of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and using the tax code to virtually eliminate insurance coverage for abortion in the United States, they also took another brazen step by moving to dismantle Title X, the nation's family planning program.

    Do you realize that the new rape legislation would have let the Catholic Church of the hook for it's ongoing problem with their pedophile priests?  Now think about that.  

    Women's health doesn't matter to a church that protects the abuse of children.  These new laws on rape, and women's are related directly to the problems the church is having.  It has nothing to do with God.   God weeps.

    •  I am not quite certain how you reached the (0+ / 0-)

      the bill would change the definition of rape for trials thus letting pedophile priests off the hook.  It only (like that wasn't enough) dealt with the type of rape for which they'd allow government funds to pay for abortions. It wouldn't change state laws, under which rape is prosecuted, for trial. Nor would it abolish statutory rape laws--except as a ground for abortion.

      The laws were monstrous, but you're seeing things that weren't in it and the only relationship it has to Catholicism is that the church is 100% opposed to abortion, and won't allow them to be performed in its hospitals.

      Ex-Catholic here, and 110% pro-choice. I despise the Catholic Church's positions on sex, abortion, birth control  and the role of women. But  at least let's get the facts right.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 10:34:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "rape" vs RAPE wording. (0+ / 0-)

        It's only rape if you fight back like a wild animal. So all the abused altar boys who didn't fight, wouldn't be considered as raped.
        QED

        •  Apples and oranges. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, swampyankee

          I understand that you're mad as hell at the Catholic Church. That the pedophile priest horror disgusts you (if I hadn't left the church 40 years ago over birth control, abortion, homosexuality, the role of women--I'd have left it over that). But you're wrong on this one. Unless the altar boys need an abortion,t his won't affect prosecution.

          And you sure don't sound very concerned about the girls and women who were abused by priests--or the ones who will be raped by ordinary men. THAT is whom these laws will have an effect on, not ongoing lawsuits or prosecutions of pedophile priests. ANd FYI, the people pushing these laws aren't Catholics. They're fundies from the Bible Belt who flat-out hate women in a way that event he Pope can't begin to compare with. Ex-Catholic, 16 years of Catholic education here--and I now live in GA.  You couldn't get someone in MA or MD, both fairly Catholic states, to try and pass a law like this int he state legislature, but down here, they do shit like this all the time, because the fundeis think any girl out alone at night is asking for rape.

          What will are state laws like the one from an asshole in the GA state legislature who wants the victim to be called the "accuser"--but only in the crimes of rape and domestic violence.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 11:15:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Umm, not the original poster you replied to. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm indifferent at the Catholic church, I left it in 1976 and have been a happy UU Humanist since 1980.

            And I was thinking in terms of legal precedence. If the fighting back standard would be required for women, it would also be for men, and in civil cases could be a chilling precedent.

            Of course I'm beyond outrage about the impacts on women from their horrible bill. You're talking to a pro-choice pharmacist who drives to rural towns to dispense Plan B and is on the BOD of our local Planned Parenthood affiliate.

            •  Sorry. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IARXPHD

              But I still don't think this is an attempt to appease the bishops or protect the Catholic church, nor do I think it would set a nasty legal precendent. Taht legislation in GA would however impact both men and women in a rape trial. Civil cases require a lower standard of proof than criminal cases.
              Glad to know there's one pharmacist out there with a conscience when it coems to women!~

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 12:13:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  A VALID example of the slippery slope. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, big annie, Calamity Jean

    Unlike all the RWNJ versions, this is what those of us in the reproductive rights area have been expecting for years.

    They want us to go back to Pre-Griswold days.

  •  I've said it for years: (4+ / 0-)

    contraception would be next ont heir list if they finally legislated abortion into a right that exists only on paper. In their view, contraception that is truly 99% effective (all forms of hormonal birth control like the Pill, and IUD) is the same as abortion because they believe it prevents the implantation of the fertilized ovum. They'd like to leave us with nothing but foam and condoms, which is another way of saying "barefoot and pregnant".

    FYI, non-Hispanic Catholics don't have huge families these days. The mostly shrug  at the Pope and take the Pill. It's the evangelical fundies--think the Duggers--and Mormons who tend to the really big families today.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 10:39:45 AM PST

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