By Lanie Fields | 9 September 2015
It looks like it’s time to bring out the all male, Republican version of the old Statue of Liberty Play. Pledging to do “everything in their power” to defund Planned Parenthood this fall, 28 House Republican lawmakers are threatening to shut down the federal government. Again. Over an issue they have, at the very least, completely misconstrued and intentionally refused to attempt to comprehend. These men have their feet planted firmly in the war-on-women cement and they shall not be moved.
In a letter that made the rounds this summer, circulated by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), the congressmen pledged to vote against any bill that funds the federal government if it includes money for Planned Parenthood. In order to avoid the shutdown, Congress has a deadline of September 30 to fund the government.
“We must act to fully defund Planned Parenthood,” the letter says. “Please know that we cannot and will not support any funding resolution – an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise – that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams.”
Why these Republican men are adamant about taking funds from women’s healthcare services remains somewhat of a mystery. Most of these men have fallen victim to the proven inaccuracies of the heavily edited and manipulated, deceitful “fetuses for sale” video scandal. In truth, Planned Parenthood receives about $500 million in government funding, mostly through Medicaid and a federal family planning program. The longstanding Hyde Amendment prevents any federal funds from being used to pay for abortions, but Republicans have been trying to defund Planned Parenthood over its abortion services since 2011. Abortions make up only 3% of the services that Planned Parenthood perform. Why is this so difficult for these men to grasp?
Below is a list of the other 97% of services Planned Parenthood provides and the Republican 28 want to eliminate.
- Pap Smears: Can’t afford a cervical cancer screening? You can have that done at PP.
- Pregnancy Testing and Services: The organization helps women who are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant get prenatal care.
- Diabetes Screening: Depending on location, you can get general health care services like diabetes screening, flu vaccines, or anemia testing at Planned Parenthood.
- Breast Cancer Screening: The organization provides valuable breast exams and helps women find services they might need.
- STD Testing, Treatment, and Prevention: Planned Parenthood provides free condoms, HPV vaccines, and STD testing and treatment.
- Male Infertility Screening and Referral: The organization offers a variety of male sexual health services, like infertility screening, testicular cancer screening, and erectile dysfunction services. Are the congressmen aware of this?
- Menopause Help: It might not make headlines like abortion services, but Planned Parenthood’s health centers offer midlife services to help women deal with menopause. Trust me, these middle-aged men do NOT want to interfere with these services.
Way to remedy your self-admitted “women problem,” guys.
The GOP is divided on the issue. Because they would absorb the lion’s share of the blame for another shutdown, Republican leaders in the House and Senate want to avoid it. Yet the far-right conservative voice continues to escalate. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is leading an effort to uphold the federal budget bill with the purpose of defunding the health service provider.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last week conceded that Republicans do not have the votes to defund Planned Parenthood this year. If Mulvaney’s pledge continues to garner support, by this fall the House could potentially stall government funding.
“If we shut down government, it will be because you have willful Republicans who are prepared to take the government hostage to attain their ends,” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters on Tuesday. “It will not be a stumble; it will be a considered objective, and a number of them have said so publicly.”
The 28 Republicans attempting to deny women access to healthcare and threatening a shutdown are listed below.
The Naughty List:
Reps. Mulvaney, Jim Jordan (Ohio), John Fleming (La.), Raúl Labrador (Idaho), Matt Salmon (Ariz.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Curt Clawson (Fla.), Jim Bridenstine (Okla.), Keith Rothfus (Pa.), Randy Weber (Texas), Scott Perry (Pa.), Steven Pearce (N.M.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Ted Yoho (Fla.), Jody Hice (Ga.), David Rouzer (N.C.), Dave Brat (Va.), Mark Meadows (N.C.), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Mark Walker (N.C.), Brian Babin (Texas), David Schweikert (Ariz.), and Trent Kelly (Miss.).
Curious that there isn’t one woman’s name on the entire list.
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