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“Defunding” Planned Parenthood: Beyond GOP Posturing, It Wouldn’t Be Easy To Do

| August 16, 2015

planned parenthood defunding posturing gop

Nine angry men.

The undercover videos purporting to show officials of Planned Parenthood bargaining over the sale of fetal tissue have made the promise to defund the organization one of the most popular refrains on the Republican presidential campaign trail.

It’s actually a much easier promise to make than to fulfill. But that’s not slowing down the candidates.

“There is no reason in the world to have Planned Parenthood other than abortion,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. “We should stop all funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, echoed many of her fellow candidates byvowing that “we should shut down the government” rather than allow further funding of the organization. Many Republicans – though far from all – have been advocating a fightover Planned Parenthood funding this fall when it comes time to keep the federal government operating.

Candidates that are or were governors have gone even further – saying they have already eliminated funding for the organization in their states.

“I defunded Planned Parenthood more than four years ago, long before any of these videos came out,” said Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., in the recent Fox News debate.

“As governor of Florida I defunded Planned Parenthood,” said Jeb Bush, who served from 1999 to 2007, at the same debate. “I created a culture of life in our state.”

But did they really? That depends on how you define the word “defund.”

Both Walker and Bush (along with Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey and former Gov. Rick Perry in Texas) did reduce state funding for the organization, mostly by cutting off long-standing grants earmarked for family planning programs. (With few exceptions, funds for family planning may not be used for abortion.)

But while the cuts forced the closure of some Planned Parenthood clinics, all four states still have Planned Parenthood clinics operating there, in some cases still collecting state as well as federal funds.

That’s largely due to a requirement in the Medicaid program, from which Planned Parenthood gets most of its government funding. Medicaid funding is shared between the federal government and the states, although the federal government pays 90 percent of the cost of family planning services.

Job Bush cut funding for Planned Parenthood in Florida, but did not–and could not–defund it.

“There’s a requirement in the [Medicaid] statute for free choice of providers,” said Cindy Mann, who recently stepped down as head of the federal Medicaid program and is now with the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. “The only way you can limit the provider is to establish that they’re not, in fact, qualified as a Medicaid provider.”

Federal courts have agreed. In 2011, the last time Planned Parenthood was in the headlines, Indiana passed a law barring Medicaid funding to any entity that also performed abortions, even if those abortions were performed with non-public funds. A federal appeals court ultimately blocked that part of the law because it interfered with the Medicaid law’s “freedom of choice” requirements.

“Although Indiana has broad authority to exclude unqualified providers from its Medicaid program, the state does not have plenary authority to exclude a class of providers for anyreason – more particularly for a reason unrelated to provider qualifications,” wrote Appeals Court Judge Diane Sykes in the majority opinion. Sykes was appointed by President George W. Bush.

Congress, of course, could defund Planned Parenthood by changing that requirement in Medicaid law.

But Medicaid experts say recent announcements by the GOP governors of Louisiana and Alabama that they are also attempting to evict Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid program in their states are unlikely to become reality.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is running for president, said in the debate for thesecond tier of candidates last week that “we just, earlier this week, kicked them out of Medicaid in Louisiana.” None of the Planned Parenthood clinics in the state perform abortions.

In Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley notified Planned Parenthood last week that he would be ending their contract with the state to serve Medicaid patients. “I respect human life and do not want Alabama to be associated with an organization that does not,” he said.

Neither of those actions is likely to succeed, said Sara Rosenbaum, a law professor and Medicaid expert at George Washington University.

“This is a right for beneficiaries going back to the original statute,” she said, referring to the ability for patients to choose their health care provider. She added, however, that governors wishing to use the exercise for political gain “have nothing to lose,” because it is now up to the providers to sue.

Planned Parenthood has not said yet whether it will challenge the Alabama or Louisiana actions in court.

One way GOP governors have managed to cut Planned Parenthood funding is by dropping out of an optional Medicaid program that provides federal funding to pay for family planning services for women who don’t otherwise qualify for Medicaid, but who still have low incomes (usually under twice the federal poverty level, or about $23,500).

That’s how Texas partly defunded Planned Parenthood in 2011. When Medicaid officials said the state’s new law barring funding of organizations that also do abortions violated the federal free-choice-of-provider requirement, Texas was actually expelled from the expanded family planning program losing its federal funding. The state instead created its own program with (substantially less) state-only money. Planned Parenthood had been providing just under half of the services for the entire program, so excluding the organization meant women in Texas had trouble getting family planning services.

According to the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, which is studying the impact of the changes, by 2013 the reductions caused 82 clinics (not all Planned Parenthood) to close or stop providing family planning services and prompted others to limit the types of services they provide, as well as ask women to pay more of the cost themselves.

–Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News

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30 Responses for ““Defunding” Planned Parenthood: Beyond GOP Posturing, It Wouldn’t Be Easy To Do”

  1. Knightwatch says:

    Another disgusting Republican attack on women. Why on earth would any woman in this country vote for any Republican??

    • Bob says:

      Planned Parenthood, a democratic favorite, in the business of convincing women to abort their babies so they can sell body parts. Oh yes, they are real pro woman

  2. tim says:

    Maybe when women feel the fetus move in their womb they realize it is a baby not spare parts!

  3. Frank N. Stein says:

    GOP: the Neanderthal, retrograde political party that lives off poor suckers and opportunistic billionaires.

  4. Sherry E says:

    Thank you Knightwatch and Frank Stein, both thoughtful gentlemen.

    The GOP run by men who claim to want less government, except when it comes to FORCING women to give up their rights over their own bodies, and then their ongoing lives. The GOP, embodied by Jeb Bush who, while governor of Florida, FORCED a feeding tube down the throat of Terri Schivo instead of letting her pass peacefully.

    If any employee at Planned Parenthood acted improperly, then that “person” should be held accountable, not the entire enterprise. This is just a “witch hunt” by the Republican party to take away women’s right to choose. See Elizabeth Warren’s speech here:

  5. m&m says:

    Why is it that when a girl turns 18 she becomes the bread winner for the family. She has many of them to get more intitlements to support those who are too lazy to work.

  6. stan says:

    thou shall not kill 20-13 it has nothing to do with womens rights
    it is killing a precious human being made in the image of god
    what is it you god hating people do not understand.
    the judgement of god will come.repent jesus christ
    is your only hope john14-6

    • Samuel L. Bronkowitz says:

      “Thou shalt not kill” is the standard king james bible translation, but it’s incorrect as seen in multiple other translations. The more correct translation is “you shall not murder.” Killing and murdering are two different things linked by intent.

      Case in point, Psalms 137:8-9, which says:

      “Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”

      Here we have a Psalm written presumably by King David that is wishing the babies of the Babylonians to be thrown against rocks. We also have many instances of the jews in the old testament being involved in warfare, and many instances of ordained christian armies killing the enemy.

  7. karma says:

    Let’s not forget who founded Planed Parenthood and her plan for the organization. Statistics show her plan is working, and the government is funding it.

    We have groups of people who say ” Black lives matter” yet more black children were aborted than born in NYC in 2013.

    Here’s a great example: While shouting “Black lives matter” they can be seen sporting a Planned Parenthood t-shirts. You may choose not to believe it, but there is a black child in the womb of black woman. Do you really think Plan Parenthood sets up shop in poor neighborhoods for no apparent reason? They’ve done the cost benefit analysis; this is were they can provide the most abortions.

    Frank N Stein – If trying to be the voice of an innocent unborn child makes me neanderthal; than I’ll live with that. You, on the other hand, support crushing the skull of an innocent unborn child or partly delivering a live child and sucking their brain out is barbaric. Are you okay with that? Do the research yourself if you don’t believe a neanderthal.

    It’s not a woman’s choice, because it’s NOT the woman’s body that’s being destroyed…it’s another human. She is only allowing access to another human who doesn’t have a voice to make a choice.

    Don’t think for one minute that the child is the only victim.

  8. Concerned says:

    The 9 misogynist bullies and their ilk talk so highly of life and defend it so strongly when it is unable to breathe on its own or function outside of its mother’s body, but of course when it happens to be already living and breathing, a vital mother of other children perhaps, who is having a medical emergency then she can just die and go right to hell – thank you very much. Oh, and her other children who will now have no mom, well, it just sucks to be them – useless eaters who will now abuse the welfare system. Jeez! Some of you folks and all of these would be candidates make me sad for our country. Our country has no heart, has lost our soul and practices as a society only hate – worse yet, most do it in the name of Jesus just like the Middle Easterners do it in the name of Allah. So much hate, so little time. Wake the hell up!!

    • Knightwatch says:

      Well said, Concerned. These so-called Christians are pro-life, but more than happy to execute human beings. They are very happy to cut all social welfare programs to save themselves a few bucks. And their hatred of the Affordable Care Act, one that aids the elderly and poor, is profound. Did I mention the overtly racist views posted here? Christian values … yeah, right.

  9. Algernon says:

    A “worth reading” editorial from the New England Journal of Medicine:

  10. Algernon says:

    And one more tidbit: A vote for Huckabee is a vote for turning back the clock to the 18th century. See what this dolt has said now:

  11. Sherry E says:

    “Concerned says”, brings up many good points.

    Those who fight so hard for the life of every fetus are also often the same ones who then completely turn their backs on those that need any kind of public assistance to care for the child who was FORCED into this world.

    The completely unacceptable HYPOCRISY is this:

    BEFORE a child is born, it is sacred. . .
    AFTER it is born, it is trash, and the mother is blamed and labeled a “TAKER”
    YET, we should do everything possible to stop access to contraception
    WOMEN should be VIRGINS until they marry a wealthy man who will never die or leave them. . . so sayth the Lord.

  12. Camelot says:

    Give me real facts, from creditable sources that support your statement regarding mother’s dying to give birth because they did not have the “choice” to have an abortion. A woman who dies giving birth proves nothing about: abortion, a woman’s “right”, welfare or anything else you can conger up. Many women use their brains each and every day, making a conscience decision as to whether they want to have a child or not; the more responsible one’s use the readily available and free birth control thing, better known as “The Pill.” You can have double and triple protection, free of charge if you REALLY DO NOT want to have a child. If after all that, a woman still gets pregnant then it’s obviously God’s will. No one is making women have a child knowing the birth is going to KILL HER. As a matter of fact, that is why there are medical procedures called, C-Section. Wildly and overly used by lazy doctor’s in this country.

    How it is that someone can come to the conclusion that if a woman dies having a child and leaves behind children is going to hell? Am I missing something? Then for another to agree, stating they make a good point without mention a specific point? TILT, TILT, TILT … You are right when you say this country has no heart and soul — out of the heart the mouth speaks.

    Let’s talk welfare and charity, In the name of Jesus. (Insert sarcasm here) That’s right, the majority of all charities are provided by those who have “religious” conviction. I use the word religion, because that is man-made, not Christ centered. Since this is not a religious topic, I’ll spare you the sermon. Who’s feeding the homeless? Who’s providing a loving and safe shelter to the orphan? Who’s visiting the elderly thrown away by their busy children in the nursing homes? Who’s volunteering their time to visit the sick in hospitals? Who’s fighting for the rights of the unborn? That’s right… folks who have religious convictions.

    Children who were FORCED into this world? You bet! Anyone who ever lived and everyone who lives today was FORCED to be born; whether by the mother pushing or the doctor pulling, we are all here by God’s choice, not our own. A child being born does not resist what is naturally occurring, it does however resist being poisoned, torn apart and crushed while still in its mother womb… where God designed it to be the safest place on earth.

    You are insinuating that a woman is forced to have a child in today’s society, are blamed for their “choice” in having a child, then labeled a taker – correct? Hardly! That’s cherry picking: selecting different societal problems and then meshing them together to support “your” opinion of what “you” think the other person is thinking – worthless chatter.

    Who is stopping access to contraception? Are you referring those who oppose women using abortion as contraception? Approximately 45% of abortions are repeat abortions. Hmmm…I thought abortion were for women who could die and go to hell during child birth. Rape, now we need to do something about rape, since according the above number of repeat abortion rape and incest are serious issues. An upstanding, concerned and as a sophisticated society such as ours, we are falling short in this area of protecting women from rape and incest.

    So I’m curious, how many women die from natural, not induced abortion birth; let’s look at some data. Well, in 2012, the Elliot Institute had a study that found “Women who undergo abortions have an increased risk of death. A single induced abortion increases the risk of maternal death by 45 percent compared to women who have no history of abortion. In addition, each additional abortion is associated with an even higher death rate. Women who had two abortions were 114 percent more likely to die, and women had three or more abortions had a192 percent increased risk.” Wow! “The study, printed in the peer-reviewed medical journal Human Reproduction, of more than 3,000 women found women who have three or more abortions face a 35 percent increase in health complications in a future pregnancy AND also saw an increase in the risk of a baby’s death around the time of birth.”

    “To put these risks into perspective, for every 1,000 women, three who have had no abortion will a baby born under 28 weeks, this rises to four women among those who have had one abortion, six women who have had two abortions, and 11 women who have had three or more abortions.” Very interesting facts I’d say and not from some biased reported vomiting their opinion as fact.

    Other studies found a “very statistically significant increased risk” of breast cancer. Hasn’t there been a rise in breast cancer in the last decade or so. Yes, there has, so much so that we have “Breast Cancer Awareness” MONTH. The study goes on to talk about repeat abortions were found to be “more likely” to…. live in unstable situations; be divorced, dependent on social services etcetera, etcetera. Planned Parenthood is right there, conveniently located to provide services so as to help these women out of their troubles.

    What’s so wrong with being a virgin? I’m referring to both sexes, as there are two distinctively different kinds of sexes – male and female. We can discuss that later on with the sermon if some would like. The ignorance is amazing and sexiest. Only females can be virgins and they MUST marry “wealthy men who will never die?” That’s not the way I’ve heard it. “Marry a rich man with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.” That’s how I remember it being told. There is a 100% guarantee that everyone dies. So only “a person affected with extreme mental retardation” (Webster’s definition of an idiot) would believe someone will live forever in this life.

    Making the “choice” to keep every Tom, Dick or Harry out of the cabbage patch is much harder than letting every Tom, Dick and Harry in. Have some respect for yourself. There are no guarantees in life other than the ONE I mentioned above.

  13. Lin says:

    I believe abortion should be safe, legal and rare but

    Elizabeth Warren’s video re Planned Parenthood
    “Do you have any idea what year it is? … Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1950s or 1890s? Should we call for a doctor?”

    After watching her performance, I would ask the same of her.

    1960 – first birth control pill FDA approved
    1973 – Roe V Wade decision

    But also, scientific discoveries maybe she doesn’t know about
    Fetal viability is possible at 21-22 weeks
    Fetal heartbeat is there at 6 weeks and it is possible to hear it through ultrasound at 8 weeks

    The Planned Parenthood videos showing the negotiation for sale of fetal body parts and tissue and description of how abortion “sounds” disgusted me, For the democrats/liberals to dismiss the discussion of defunding this organization as part of a war on women is inhumane. There should be no “sale” of tissues.
    Use of fetal tissue in research in my opinion is not in question. The callousness of the doctors and personnel in the video and the ethics of their practices is definitely in question.

    Women should not be portrayed as victims in general (and the ones that are truly victims should be helped
    as much as humanly possible). Women are capable of getting affordable and FREE birth control and abortion is legal. Enough with this dark ages — it is demeaning to women especially those of us who have fought for our rights and burned our bras decades ago.

    And I don’t mean to minimize the struggles of women across the globe who don’t have the basic of HUMAN rights — that is a fight worth having
    As to the Republicans who are on the wrong side of the issues — in the case of rape and incest where the woman did not have the choice, they should be able to make decisions with their doctors without ANY participation of the government. Those who advocated for pre-abortion sonograms are also in the wrong for the same reason – keep the government out of my bedroom, and doctor’s office. But we don’t need Planned Parenthood.

  14. Sherry E says:

    Need proof of the GOP War on Women’s rights. . . this from the Huffington Post:

    GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee supports Paraguay’s decision to deny an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim, he revealed in an interview Sunday.

    In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the former Arkansas governor argued that the Paraguayan government’s refusal to allow an abortion for the now-11-year-old, who gave birth last week after being raped by her stepfather, prevented a second tragedy.

    ”Let nobody be misled, a 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible, but does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child?” he asked. He added later, “When I think about one horror, I also think about the possibilities that exist and I just don’t want to think that somehow we discounted a human life … Let’s not compound the tragedy by taking yet another life.”

    Paraguay law allows abortion only “in very rare cases when it’s deemed necessary to save a woman’s life,” ThinkProgress noted.

    Huckabee has taken a firm stance against abortion and suggested last month that he wouldn’t rule out using federal troops to stop women from accessing the procedure. He also identifies with a small group of conservative legal scholars who believe the Constitution gives the president the power to outlaw abortion, despite the Supreme Court’s many rulings on the matter.

    • Bob says:

      Don’t worry, Huckabee won’t be the nominee. You just typed a bunch of crap for nothing.

    • Lin says:

      in your own words, about Huckabee
      “small group of conservative legal scholars who believe the Constitution gives the president the power…”

      Huckabee has his opinion – as do others. So what.
      That does not make it a war by the GOP on women.
      and to deny, deny, deny the videos by saying that they can be faked does not mean that they are fake.
      Sherry E., you are so quick to defend, what exactly?

      If you’d like to study and cite News articles about war on women, may I suggest the New York Times article of a few days ago regarding the war on Christian women at the hands of ISIS and Boko Haram. These women and children do not choose to be killed, raped or enslaved. It makes the fake fight over birth control or keeping this one government supported organization open very small in comparison. Abortion is legal as is birth control.

      This is a fight over the SALE of body parts in some cases where the mothers did not even know or consent.

  15. Sherry E says:

    Regarding the videos, anyone who knows anything about video editing software is aware of how easy it is to manipulate footage, take images and audio out of context/shift them around in a way to create a story that fits a particular agenda.

    Even with that, what I saw from the video of the lunch discussion was what appeared to be a Planned Parenthood employee being plied with an expensive lunch and lots of wine (while being secretly filmed and baited) bragging about her ability to make “DONATED” tissue available to biotech firms. . . for only $50-$100 . . . which probably equates to the special handling delivery costs. . . . Think about it, if this whole situation were as nefarious as portrayed by the media, she would certainly be asking for much more money!!! In the “3 hour version” of the video, the PP employee even explains how making a profit is not acceptable policy of Planned Parenthood.

    Of course, the tissue specimens must be obtained and handled very carefully to keep them viable for stem cell uses. By the way, Stem Cell research/technology/treatments, such as bone marrow transplants, is just beginning to realize its potential for future medical advances that help to create cures and reduce suffering while revolutionizing patient treatments. This from the national institute of health:
    Human stem cells are currently being used to test new drugs. New medications are tested for safety on differentiated cells generated from human pluripotent cell lines.. Cancer cell lines, for example, are used to screen potential anti-tumor drugs.

    Perhaps the most important potential application of human stem cells is the generation of cells and tissues that could be used for cell-based therapies. Today, donated organs and tissues are often used to replace ailing or destroyed tissue. Stem cells, directed to differentiate into specific cell types, offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases including macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

    • Lin says:

      Yes, these recent scientific advances make the whole ethical medical dilemma very difficult to sort though.

      We want stem cell research but donate and sell are 2 different things.

      Along with the advances we also see that the clump of cells is looking more and more like a baby earlier, feeling pain, having a heartbeat. Investigate those videos online. When we were fighting for all these “rights” we did not have the knowledge and we did not have the pictures. We did not know.

      We need not put ourselves in the way of other ways of handling unwanted pregnancy like adoption.
      We need to impress upon women the importance of good gynecological care including birth control methods and perhaps even more importantly we need to show women and men that there are ways of forming families other than multiple abortions and children born without fathers in the home. This is not the best way to form social units and it is not good for the mothers or the children that are ultimately born into that situation. No one benefits from keeping Planned Parenthood open if they are SELLING tissue.

      Geez, even animal testing is a no no.

      Defending Planned Parenthood is just a talking point

      Abortion should be safe, legal and RARE.

  16. Flatsflyer says:

    Republican’s are the strongest supporters of Israel and the strongest voice against all abortions. Yet Israel provides totally free abortions on “demand” by any woman at any age totally funded by US Aid. This seems to tell the hole story about abortions and the GOP.

  17. Sherry E says:

    Excellent point Flatsflyer!

    Courtsey of comments from “Algernon”. . . this excellent article from the New England Journal of Medicine:

    Planned Parenthood at Risk
    George P. Topulos, M.D., Michael F. Greene, M.D., and Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D.

    Planned Parenthood is under attack — again. This time, a campaign of misinformation about
    the retrieval of fetal tissue used in research and therapy is the excuse. When women have made
    the decision to terminate a pregnancy, Planned Parenthood allows them the opportunity to have
    the fetal tissue that would otherwise be discarded be used by qualified researchers to help
    answer important medical questions. The organization does so carefully, following all applicable
    laws and ethical guidelines.

    In a Perspective article now published in the Journal, Charo presents compelling arguments defending these uses of fetal tissue.

    Planned Parenthood, its physicians, and the researchers who do this workshould be praised, not damned. The research is not easy to do, but as Charo explains, it has benefited millions of people worldwide. If the anti-choice forces were allowed to rule the day, these advances would never have been made.

    We strongly support Planned Parenthood not only for its efforts to channel fetal tissue into important medical research but also for its other work as one of the country’s largest providers of health care for women, especially poor women.

    In 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, Planned Parenthood provided services
    to 2.7 million women, men, and young people during 4.6 million health center visits. At least 60% of these patients benefited from public health coverage programs such as the nation’s family-planning program (Title X) and Medicaid.

    At least 78% of these patients lived with incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. Planned Parenthood’s services included nearly 400,000 Pap tests, nearly 500,000 breast examinations, nearly 4.5 million tests for sexually transmitted illnesses (including HIV), and treatments.

    The contraception services that Planned Parenthood delivers may be the single greatest effort to prevent the unwanted pregnancies that result in abortions. It is shameful that a radical anti-choice group
    whose goal is the destruction of Planned Parenthood continues to twist the facts to achieve its ends. We thank the women who made the choice to help improve the human condition through their tissue donation; we applaud the people who make this work possible and those who use these materials to advance human health. We are outraged by those who debase these women, this work, and Planned Parenthood by distorting the facts for political ends.

    Dr. Topulos reports serving as a volunteer member of the medical committees of both Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
    Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at
    From the Department of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (G.P.T.); and the Department
    of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital (M.F.G.) — all in Boston.

    This article was published on August 12, 2015, at
    1. Charo RA. Fetal tissue fallout. N Engl J Med. DOI: 10.1056/
    2. Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Our health, our
    decisions, our moment. 2013–2014 Annual report (http://
    3. Planned Parenthood Federation of America. By the numbers.
    July 2015 (
    DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1510281
    Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts M

  18. Sherry E says:

    Again. . . what the contrived tapes. . . IF a Planned Parenthood employee were trying to line their pockets by SELLING DONATED tissue, they would certainly be bragging about more than $50-$100 (SHIPPING COSTS)! Again, IF Planned Parenthood employees acted in a way that was unethical or against policy. . . the EMPLOYEE should be held “personally” accountable. . . NOT the entire organization!

    If we drummed out of business every private company and government entity whose employees or representatives acted against policy, unethically, even illegally. . . we would NOT have Congress, the White House, The Stock Market, Trump Towers, any Sports Teams, any Bank, Any Utility Company. . . GET IT?

  19. Sherry E says:

    Still looking for “facts” about the war on women’s reproductive rights:

    A recent report from the Guttmacher Institute details the extent of 2011’s war on Women’s Reproductive Rights. The report states,

    By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011. In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 introduced in 2010. By year’s end, 135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009. (Note: This analysis refers to reproductive health and rights-related “provisions,” rather than bills or laws, since bills introduced and eventually enacted in the states contain multiple relevant provisions.)

    Fully 68% of these new provisions—92 in 24 states—-restrict access to abortion services, a striking increase from last year, when 26% of new provisions restricted abortion. The 92 new abortion restrictions enacted in 2011 shattered the previous record of 34 adopted in 2005.

    Abortion restrictions took many forms: bans (6 states), waiting periods (3 states), ultrasound 5 states), insurance coverage (3 states joined the existing 5 with such restrictions), clinic regulations (4 states), medication abortion (7 states).
    o Anti-abortion Laws

    Republican legislators have introduced a wide array of laws designed to either outlaw abortion outright or to discourage it by making ridiculous and sometimes humiliating requirements of women who might consider having a pregnancy terminated. These include so-called TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) regulations.

    Republicans in the House proposed a bill (HR 1179) called “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011.” The bill, introduced by Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb), allows health care providers and pharmacists to deny birth control to women if it conflicts with their religious or moral convictions. The Senate is expected to vote on its version of HR 1179 during the week of February 27 where it is known as S. 1467, whose primary sponsor is Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and has become an amendment to Transportation Authorization Bill S. 1813. The Blunt Amendment was defeated in the Senate on a narrow vote of 51 to 48 on March 1, 2012.

    In Texas, Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, has proposed a bill (House Bill 2988) that would prevent any abortion except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.

    In Georgia, a bill, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (SB 209) sponsored by Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, would close all abortion clinics in the state and require abortions to be performed in hospitals. This bill was tabled by the rules committee on March 11, 2011.

    South Dakota wants to require “spiritual” counseling (House Bill 1217) at religious centers before allowing an abortion to take place. The bill was signed into law in March 2011 and challenged in court by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU in May. We still haven’t heard what the courts will decide in this case (though a federal judge has suspended most of the law in the interim) and Republicans aren’t waiting to find out. The South Dakota House of Representatives approved a bill on February 13 sponsored by Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon that changes counseling requirements. Women seeking abortions will still have to wait 72 hours and endure spiritual counseling but now requires those counselors be licensed. The consulting doctor will now have to decide if it is likely the woman will develop mental health problems as a result of the abortion. As a side note, in both 2006 and 2008 voters rejected attempts to outlaw most abortions.

    Also in South Dakota, H.B. 1166, which was enacted in 2005, was, says, billed as an “informed consent law,” but what it really mandated was misinformation, requiring doctors “to tell a woman seeking an abortion that she faces an ‘increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide,’ a claim for which there is absolutely no scientific or medical evidence.” On September 2, 2011, “Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out important provisions of a South Dakota law that literally forced doctors to lie to their patients.”

    The Texas State House of Representatives has passed the Sonogram Bill (HB 15), a measure requiring women to get a sonogram before ending a pregnancy, forcing even victims of rape to have a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure. Gov. Rick Perry has signed the bill into law, which takes effect September 1, 2011. There are exceptions in cases of rape and incest. As Planned Parenthood reports: “While a woman can opt-out of seeing the sonogram image and hearing the heart tone, she cannot opt-out of a medically unnecessary sonogram, nor can she opt-out of the fetal description except within very narrow parameters for situations of rape, incest, judicial bypasses, and fetal anomalies.”

    Also from Texas, the passage of SB 257, passed by House and Senate on May 5, 2011 and signed by the governor on May 17, 2011 provides for “Choose Life” license plates. As explained by Planned Parenthood: “The state will now produce “Choose Life” license plates and distribute revenue from the sale of the plates to anti-choice groups such as crisis pregnancy centers (CPC). The “Alternative to Abortion” program currently receives $4 million dollars a year in taxpayer money through the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) that is distributed to CPCs. CPC are unregulated anti-choice organizations that do not provide any medical services and are known to spend nearly half of the tax dollars they receive on advertising and administrative costs, not client services.”

    Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin has introduced a bill that would not only make abortion illegal but would make MISCARRIAGES illegal.

    There are simply too many examples to list here. . .

  20. karma says:

    The slogan “War on Woman” is not much different than the slogans and groups we hear today. Facts do not match the words.

    Every county in the state provides many of the same services as Planned Parenthood. There is a total of 636 Federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics in the state of Florida. This does not include private doctors or private practice. There are 23 Planned Parenthood clinics in the state. Other than abortion, must clinics provide the same service and others provide more than PP. All types of birth control are available right in Bunnell by the State Health Department.

  21. Sherry E says:

    OK. . . the massive effort to stop a woman’s rights over her own body are nation wide. Here’s just a small sample of what is currently happening in Florida:

    John Stemberger, an Orlando lawyer and religious conservative leader, said waiting periods are “very reasonable,” but added, “We want to choke this procedure with regulations that will pass constitutional muster.”

    Pro-abortion rights supporters argue the bills are vulnerable to court challenges under the Florida Constitution, which says every person “has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life.”

    “These are all concocted regulations that are designed to shut down abortions for women, deceitfully marketed as concerning health,” said Florida American Civil Liberties Union director Howard Simon. “They’re written by politicians, not doctors. They’re about politics, not women’s health.”

  22. Algernon says:

    Sherry E., you are to be commended for your efforts for women’s rights and control of their own bodies. So much of the opposition comes from right wing close minded men who think some church gives them power over their wives and daughters, and all other women by divine right. It’s a tough fight, but your efforts are truly appreciated.

  23. Sherry E says:

    Thanks so much Algernon says. . . right back to you! You provided links to excellent material that should be read by every intelligent,, open minded voter in our country.

    I am still hoping that some people are moving away from being spoon fed their personal opinions only by angry radio hosts and main stream “hate” media. I am still hoping that concerned citizens will start to do their own research and use their own common sense see through the manipulating propaganda. . . to form reasonable perspectives on how our body politic and culture should evolve into a society that respects and even embraces diversity and personal freedoms, without blaming and judging.

    What makes our world and especially our country so incredibly unique, beautiful and wonderful is that we are NOT all the same. It’s time for us to begin sharing and growing our culture in a way that is respectful, compassionate and loving to all those with whom we live as neighbors. We need to really, deeply remember that we are all ONE species. . . all created EQUAL. . . and strive for EQUAL opportunity and EQUAL justice for ALL.

    If we must have a common enemy. . . why isn’t it the obscenely “greedy” of the 1% who has maximized their profits, by shipping jobs overseas, and who hides their billions in offshore accounts while having the audacity to think they should be our President? They have successfully bought and used media outlets to manipulate us into being divided against each other. Why isn’t our common enemy those who have taken away our American Dream?

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