Sunday, February 20, 2011

Budget Cuts and Planned Parenthood

Anyone else noticing the antics of our lawmakers and the contradictions of their actions?

The House of Representatives just voted to cut all screening, prevention and family planning funding from Planned Parenthood. Apparently our lawmakers believe that if they remove all funding from Planned Parenthood, they can prevent funding abortion.

Hello? Research? Proof?

In case our lawmakers aren't paying attention, people are not going to stop having sex. Unwanted pregnancies can be prevented with condoms and education. Rather than providing services to low-income persons who otherwise will have yet more children they cannot afford to raise, our lawmakers preach morality and refuse to provide services. Meanwhile, they drive nice cars, live in the burbs, and have health care coverage.

Moreover, the consequences are far more expensive than the prevention of unwanted, unintended pregnancies. According to Reuters, raising a child costs $291,570. This price does not include childbirth or college. So for the lack of a condom, our nation will assume the cost of education, medical and other needs. And if the child lacks attachment figures and other needs, thereby winding up in the legal system, the cost increases even more. A quick Google search suggests that housing an inmate in the legal system $20,108 per year or about $55 a day, not including building maintenance, staff, etc.

I've been through four layoffs in my lifetime. I'm familiar with the end of the year push to salvage this year's numbers to justify next year's existence, regardless of the consequences. It horrifies me that we run our country that way. We look so closely at the final bottom line number for this year that we refuse to read the fine print indicating consequences for the next year, the next ten years or the next generation.

To add fuel to my rant, this is one of those things from Facebook that I posted on my wall:

Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women

1) Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't yet. Shocker.
2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."
3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that couldmake it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)
4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids. 
5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life. 
6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said.Women should really be home with the kids, not out working. 
7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.
8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.
9) Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.
10) And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing toeliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up).

1 comment:

  1. Makes me think of that saying: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." There's always somebody wanting to turn back the clock!