The legislative extortionists in the United States House of Representatives have just voted 241-187 to strip Planned Parenthood of all their funding for a year, in order to conduct “investigations” into the healthcare organization’s tissue donation program. Congressional Republicans have seized on defunding Planned Parenthood as the logical next step in the culture war after the Supreme Court handed them such a bitter defeat on same-sex marriage.
Despite the fact investigations into Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Georgia and Indiana’s Planned Parenthoods all concluded with no evidence of any wrongdoing, or the consensus from experts indicating that the illegally recorded videos by anti-abortion propagandists were heavily edited and misleading, the misogynist rabble in the House have decided that isn’t enough. They are intent on forcing a standoff over the paltry $235 million that Planned Parenthood receives for women’s healthcare services. No matter how many times one might tell the unwashed churls of the House, Planned Parenthood does not use federal funding for abortions. Abortions make up 3% of what Planned Parenthood does.
The House has also passed another bill called the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which “would impose criminal penalties on doctors who do not try to save a baby who ‘survives an abortion.‘” In a show of typical Republican delusion, this is an enormous waste of time on a phantom issue. There is absolutely no evidence that this occurs, and there are already laws protecting live infants.
President Obama has already signaled his support for Planned Parenthood and has threatened to veto the bills, and Democrats in the House have fiercely criticized the Republicans for their offensive disregard for women’s healthcare. The Congressional Budget Office has reported that the bill will cut off health care services for as many as 630,000 people, most of them low-income women. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) slammed her rivals across the aisle: “this bill creates chaos and in that chaos people’s lives will be put at risk, DeLauro said. “This bill is spiteful, it’s mean-spirited and it is cruel. It tells millions of low income Americans ‘forget your health, you can just die.’” Enough is enough.
Let us take a moment to echo Senator Elizabeth Warren’s words to Sen. Ted Cruz and all the Republican Congressman looking to provoke a shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding: Bring it. If the ignorant boors that make up the Tea Party Caucus want to commit political suicide over a vital institution that is more popular among Americans than Congress or any of the Republican presidential candidates, let them. The Democratic Party will not back down. Planned Parenthood does far too much good in our nation for them to be attacked so viciously. We will not let these religious zealots drag our nation and our people backwards into the abyss of barbarism.
Colin Taylor is the 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.