One of the fundamental tenets of the Republican Party creed is the “right to life.” it’s a convienient issue that they use to deny rights to women and a talking that they throw out to placate their über religious base. House Republicans showed us again just how anti-life they are when they released a budget proposal this week that would completely eliminate funding for the Title X program.
The Title X program is a long-standing program that was first created under President Nixon in 1970. It funds a network of family planning providers, like Planned Parenthood, who offer cancer screenings, STD testing, and birth control across the country. When the program was first introduced Republicans fully supported it because they knew it was an important tool for reducing unwanted pregnancies and diseases. Nixon even said,”It is my view that no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.” Unfortunately, as the party has moved farther to the right and the more extremists have been elected, the GOP has decided that they need to kill the program.
In 2011, right after the 2010 election that created the most unproductive Congress in history, Republicans voted to completely dismantle the program and now they are trying again. The newest budget proposal not only eliminates Title X funding, it almost completely defunds comprehensive sex education and teen pregnancy prevention programs, while also giving employers the right to deny even more reproductive health care services.
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, is outraged by the budget proposal. She released a statement that said,”This is politics at its worst. Cutting the Title X Family Planning program could leave nearly 4.6 million people without care. If Republican leaders in Congress think they can take away millions of women’s access to health care and shut down programs that are reducing teen pregnancy without one hell of a fight, they have another thing coming.”
The Guttmacher Institute, the country’s biggest reproductive health researcher, said that eliminating Title X funding isn’t fiscally responsible, because we will end up paying for the care of the children born from preventable, unwanted pregnancies. They say that the funding has met the needs of about one-third of the 20 million low-income women who need access to publicly funded reproductive services. Every dollar that America spends on reproductive planning results in net savings of $7.09.
This is how we know the Republican Party doesn’t really care about abortions. A person that is truly pro-life wants to do everything they possibly can to prevent them. This means they support comprehensive sex ed and access to contraceptives because they know that the more educated a child is, the less likely they are to experience an unwanted pregnancy. Researchers with the Guttmacher Institute found that sexual education and proper contraceptive use is the primary reason for the decline in teen pregnancies in recent years. Furthermore if Republicans were not merely anti-woman, pro-fetus politicians, they would support the social programs that ensure children are have food and healthcare; but, they cut funding for those social programs as well. Every single policy that they try to implement proves that they are liars who only want to punish impoverished Americans and hurt children. Does that sound “pro-life” to you?
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.