As the far right-wing’s horrific campaign to defund Planned Parenthood and deprive millions of American women of reproductive healthcare goes to Congress, some states are taking matters into their own hands. Republican Governor Gary Herbert of Utah has issued a directive to his state services to no longer pass federal funding to Planned Parenthoods across the state. His action was a unjust political attack on a vital healthcare provider, a partisan campaign to infuse fundamentalist Christian values into the federal distribution of resources. U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups agrees with that sentiment, and approved Planned Parenthood’s restraining order, which would force the state to continue passing funding to clinics, as it has for the past twenty years.
Planned Parenthood’s attorney Peggy Tomsic argued that “It [Planned Parenthood] certainly has not violated any requirements for receiving federal pass through funding. Governor Herbert has done this and his directive has been implemented to carry out his own personal and political agenda to punish Planned Parenthood for exercising its constitutional rights.”
The judge agreed, and chastised Governor Herbert for jumping the gun on an ongoing Congressional “investigation” which, judging from the appalling mockery of justice that took place on Capitol Hill today, is nothing more than a partisan witch-hunt. “There’s a reasonable inference this action was taken for political reasons and not a legitimate state reason” stated Waddoups.
The restraining order will be brought back before the judge in two weeks for renewal. The Republican war on women’s rights is their last desperate gasp to win the culture war and impose their perverse interpretation of Christian morality upon an unwilling nation that does values Planned Parenthood more than the Republican Party. And why wouldn’t they? Planned Parenthood provides vital services to millions of Americans every day, while the GOP revels in their legislative dysfunction and their callous disregard for the people they supposedly represent.
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.