Thursday, February 17, 2011

Billy Long co-sponsors bill to defund Planned Parenthood

From the Riverfront Times comes this story by Melissa Meizer: U.S. House Voting to Defund Planned Parenthood

As soon as today or tomorrow, members of the U.S. House of Representatives could approve bills to strip Planned Parenthood and other reproductive care centers of federal funding. Such a move would leave millions of low-income women nationwide without access to free or low-cost reproductive health care, cancer screenings and contraception.

A bill currently awaiting a vote, HR 217, sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) and 165 cosponsors, would make Planned Parenthood ineligible for federal funds set aside by Title X. (Missouri legislators who've signed on as co-sponsors include Blaine Luetkemeyer, Billy Long, Vicky Hartzler and Todd Akin.) Another bill would strip all funding from Title X, meaning that any group that uses Title X funds would be broke.

"[Title X] is a program that provides preventative services to over 6 million women each year in this country," says Paula Gianino, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. "Planned Parenthood centers are a huge part of the Title X family. If we were defunded, millions of women would lose access to free preventative services."

Title X, the family planning funding law, was signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. Congress sets aside funding for it every year as part of the Department of Health and Human Services budget. The money -- $327 million last year -- goes to clinics and health care centers around the country that provide subsidized contraception and services like Pap tests and annual gynecological exams, as well as STD testing and treatment.

In the St. Louis area, Planned Parenthood operates two Title X centers that serve nearly 9,000 patients a year. Half of those patients qualify for free care based on their incomes. Title X dollars support contraceptive care and screenings for cancer and STDs; Gianino says that 60 percent of women who use Title X centers say that's their only health-care provider.

Pence's bill, which he's calling "Defund Planned Parenthood Now," holds that any entity that provides abortions cannot receive Title X grants. But exactly zero dollars of Title X money have ever gone to pay for abortion -- that's written into the law.

"It's really a pretty inane justification," Gianino says. Yes, she acknowledges, Planned Parenthood does indeed provide abortions. But, she notes, "women who receive abortions pay for them out of their own pockets. Not one penny of Title X money goes to abortions." She says that 97 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is preventative care. As well, she says that nationwide, Title X centers prevent more than 600,000 pregnancies each year.

If Planned Parenthood and other Title X centers lose their federal financing, she says, "we will have more disease, we will have more unintended pregnancy, more teen pregnancy, and more abortions. All of these things are linked."

Gianino expects the bills will pass in the House, with a Senate vote coming in the beginning of March.
I would have hoped that Congressman Long, with two daughters in their mid-twenties*, would have been more receptive to the health and reproductive care of women.
But what does he care. Thanks to HCR (what he calls "Obamacare") his daughters are on his health insurance policy.*

Another example of the "I got mine too bad about you" mentality which is about all we get from Long.

While on the subject of HCR, remember this? I do.

When will Long wake up and smell the roses -- even Michelle Bachmann now realizes that ain't gonna happen.

*Up until now, I have avoided any reference to Long's wife and daughters. However, Long's co-sponsorship of this bill puts reproductive healthcare out of the reach of a large segment of his constituency.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Shame on Billy Long.


Anonymous said...

This is just another attack by the Right on the poor women in America.

As a voting block the women who use PP's services would be hell to mess with but quite frankly, I think most of these women could care less.

You won't see them writing letters to their congressman/woman or to the editor of their local papers.

Anonymous said...

1 of Billy's daughters is hot. The other not so hot (red).

Anonymous said...

I'd do her.

Anonymous said...

"As a voting block the women who use PP's services would be hell to mess with but quite frankly, I think most of these women could care less."

This appears to be a contradictory statement.

The next two posts regarding Long's daughters are trashy and disrespectful to women and to this very serious issue.

There are a raft of anti-women's health bills being introduced in the House.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! my rear.

We're going into the third month of Long's stint and I already have many questions to ask, and unfortunately his official website is still a blank slate.

What a disgrace.


Jim Evans said...

Don't be so hard on Billy. He is just a stupid minion doing the bidding of his masters. He's, like the victim.

He is invited to our Meetup on the Affordable Care Act this Thursday. He voted to repeal the law and now to defund it without ever knowing what it says. We will be happy to help him actually understand what they tell him to oppose.

bettyj said...

Republicans who, like the Taliban keep making their religious laws for all women to follow and backing up their religion by passing the same laws on the state and federal level....have not made one law to restrict a MALES access to healthcare or anyother program I am aware of... People like Billy Long know if one law like that is passed concerning a males body functions or restricting sex...they would be out of office so fast it would make their heada( both of them) spin!