The House recently debated an amendment that would severely impact family planning our country. It would cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. But the bill would do more than this–it would kill “Title X” …
…a 1970 law that provides family planning for “nearly five million women every year at more than 4,000 health centers.” So it would hit lots of health centers in addition to Planned Parenthood. According to TIME magazine’s Nancy Gibbs, of Planned Parenthood’s $1 billion+ annual budget, about one third comes from federal, state and local governments. By law, none of these funds can be used for abortion. And abortion represents three percent of Planned Parenthood’s services; the other 97% goes toward family planning, immunizations, cancer screening, and sexually transmitted diseases.
But cutting funding to a slew of health centers like Planned Parenthood and others, would help cut spending, right? The Guttmacher Institute says wrong. It estimate that for every dollar invested in Title X for contraceptive care in particular, taxpayers save medicaid costs. The law “prevents about a million unintended pregnancies, about half of which would end in abortion.”
But even if Title X and Planned Parenthood funding were tanked, people could still go to community health clinics–they would still have somewhere to go, right? Not likely, as the GOP wants to but a billion dollars from those as well.
So kill Title X and Planned Parenthood funding, and the places that are left, you will get more unintendend pregancies, more abortions, and more children being born to poor parents. What Gibbs refers to as “deficit hawks” in Congress should be annoyed that the proposed cost cutting bill that will surely be more likely to cost more money in the end.
At the heart of it, the bill’s agenda is not about cost cutting — it is just another back door way to try and go after reproductive rights. Let’s hope the Senate and the President, if it ever gets to his desk, sees this for what it is.