Posts Tagged planned parenthood
Gov. Heineman really does not want any “anchor babies” in his state:
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman vetoed a proposal to restore Medicaid-funded prenatal care for illegal immigrants on Friday, but the initiative could still survive if the state legislature rejects his move next week.
And, what is his reasoning?
Heineman, who is anti-abortion, also said he had “grave concerns” that some funding could go to abortion provider Planned Parenthood and that Nebraska could become a sanctuary for illegal immigrants because no bordering states offered similar coverage.
Let’s go over that again: he’s vetoing Medicaid coverage for prenatal care for undocumented women, because Planned Parenthood provides prenatal care.
He doesn’t like abortion, but he also doesn’t want undocumented women having babies in his state, and he is afraid that if he does not join neighboring states in a race to the bottom, then additional money will end up with Planned Parenthood because they care about pregnant women and their eagerly awaited babies far more than Dave Heineman does.
At first I was about to get all indignant over this latest display of womb-controlling dumbassery, but, you know what? Fuck it. The forced-childbirth movement has never let a nasty fact get in the way of a fabulous fever dream, so we might as well point and laugh when people like Rep. Fleming (R-eally?) think it’s TRUFAX.
If you follow the women’s health/reproductive rights community, you’ve probably heard about this:
But apparently those women no longer matter as Komen’s support has now been withdrawn. Last month, the national office of the Komen Foundation, which maintains tight control over its state affiliates, sent a memo barring those affiliates from using money they had raised at the local level to partner with Planned Parenthood clinics in improving access to breast exams.
It’s no secret that anti-choice legislators at the state and national level have made Planned Parenthood the central focus of their anti-woman agenda, spending well over half of entire legislative sessions in some states focused on cutting funding and limiting access to reproductive health services. At the national level, the ongoing witch hunt aimed at PPFA has taken many forms, one of which includes a “Congressional inquiry” launched by House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.). Stearns sent a letter to PPFA in late September 2011 asking for an avalanche of documents to “investigate” whether PPFA has used federal funds to provide abortion services.
What does Stearns have to do with Komen? Anti-choice groups have long targeted Komen for its partnership with Planned Parenthood, in part by haranguing the organization and listing them as targets of various protests and boycotts, and in part by touting the medically-disproven and specious claims about non-existent links between abortion and breast cancer. A group known as Life Decisions International (LDI), the website of which is “fightpp.org,” has long had Komen on its boycott list.
These efforts hardly appear to have affected Komen’s bottom line since the foundation’s total gross revenue in 2010 was nearly $421 million, only several hundred thousand dollars of which were granted over the past five years by Komen’s state affiliates to local Planned Parenthood partners for education, screening, and referrals. Moreover, as a large and well-known organization (albeit one criticized for its work on many levels) Komen appeared until now to stay above the ideological mud-pit of the anti-choice movement.
Last fall, however, things began to change. LDI began quietly telling other anti-choice groups that it had “won” the battle with Komen and that they should await public announcement of a policy change.
And suddenly, Cliff Stearns’ inquiry became a reason for the Komen national office to change what state affiliates could do with their funds. Komen’s board recently approved a new policy stating that affiliates can only provide grant funds to other organizations if:
• The applicant is not currently debarred from the receipt of federal or state funding.
• No key personnel of applicant or any of its affiliates has been convicted of fraud or a crime involving any other financial or administrative impropriety within the last year.
• The applicant or any of its affiliates is not currently under a local, state or federal formal investigation for financial or administrative impropriety or fraud. (“Affiliate” means any entities that control, are controlled by, or are under the same control as applicant or independent entities operating under the same name or brand as applicant.)
While the policy ostensibly affects “any” organization to which Komen affiliates might grant money, the memo sent to state affiliates specifically targets Planned Parenthood.
“Currently, however, various authorities at both the state and federal levels are conducting investigations involving [Planned Parenthood] and some of its local chapters, and the organization is barred from receiving government funding in numerous states. Under these new criteria, Planned Parenthood will be ineligible to receive new funding from Komen until these investigations are complete and these issues are resolved.”
But these are lies and innuendo: There are no “authorities” investigating Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood is not barred from receiving federal government funding in any state. No mature organization concerned about the health and well-being of women at risk of breast cancer would have created a policy targeting another respected organization with a record of saving untold lives.
But Komen can no longer claim the mantle of a respected organization. First, Komen last year hired Karen Handel, a former Georgia anti-choice gubernatorial candidate and Sarah Palin acolyte who promised as part of her platform to defund Planned Parenthood and other vital health services. Handel, who lost her race but is said to have future political ambitions, is now Senior Vice President for Policy at Komen. She was originally endorsed in her race by and received money from current GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney, with whom some sources suggest she remains closely allied. Romney, in turn, has suddenly become more anti-choice than thou and has promised a federal personhood amendment as well as to defund Planned Parenthood.
Second, sitting on Komen’s Advocacy Alliance Board is Jane Abraham, the General Chairman of the virulently anti-choice and anti-science Susan B. Anthony List and of its Political Action Committee. Among other involvements, Abraham helps direct the Nurturing Network, a global network of crisis pregnancy centers, organizations widely known for spreading ideology, misinformation and lies to women facing unintended pregnancy and to use both intimidation and coercion in the course of doing so. Also on the board of Nurturing Network is Maureen Scalia, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, no hero to women’s rights and health.
Robin Marty tells us about a court order to prevent Planned Parenthood of York from performing an abortion on an unwilling 14-year-old. The story was supposedly that this girl’s parents scheduled an abortion for her, but she wanted to keep the baby, and the father’s parents also wanted her to keep the baby, so the Independence Law Center came to her defense in court.
Now she points us to Paul Carpenter at the Morning Call, who reports that the injunction probably doesn’t exist.
The release listed Dyan Cross as its contact person. Cross was unable to answer any questions, referring me to the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which then referred me to Randall Wenger, chief counsel for the Independence Law Center, also mentioned in the press release. “The Independence Law Center,” it said, “helped the girl from York, Pa., to fight the abortion in court. The mother and stepfather of the girl had scheduled an abortion for their daughter against her wishes and against the wishes of the family of the unborn child’s father.”
Also, the Law Center’s website listed various cases it was pursuing, including that of a York student fighting a school ban on an anti-abortion T-shirt. I found nothing, however, on an injunction against parental abortion atrocities in York. When I called Wenger to ask for details on that phantom injunction, he did not return my calls.
Still, there were other leads. “The court-ordered injunction,” said the press release, “was presented to the girl’s parents and Planned Parenthood of York.”
Planned Parenthood often helps families with abortions or birth-control advice, so it’s logical that it may have been helping the parents. Planned Parenthood of York referred me to Suellen Craig, head of the regional Planned Parenthood of Southcentral Pennsylvania, who knew nothing about any injunction.
Carpenter’s story goes on to explain how Wenger is perfectly happy to fight for parents’ rights to force their minor daughters to give birth against their will.
Now, the issue here isn’t that the girl’s parents have won their bid to force their 14-year-old daughter to abort. The issue here is that the injunction doesn’t exist because it wasn’t necessary. Planned Parenthood isn’t interested in performing abortions on unwilling women, including 14-year-old girls with non-supportive parents. If the girl comes in for her appointment, she can just say to any clinician that she doesn’t want the procedure, and they’ll let her go, no harm, no foul.
Also, Independence Law Center? The wishes of the fetus’s paternal grandparents are irrelevant. If the girl’s options are to abort or leave her parents’ home, then the father’s family can offer to take her in and provide for her and the baby until the girl is grown up and able to support herself, but the decision is ultimately hers. The outcome of her pregnancy is not theirs to claim.
From Ed Brayton:
“They tried to make this about women’s health,” Pence said of Democrats. “It wasn’t about that. Planned Parenthood’s clinics focus mainly on abortion.”
I suppose if you classify birth control pills, condoms, Pap smears, mammograms, pelvic exams and STD screening and treatment as “abortion,” then, sure, that is Planned Parenthood’s main focus. Though by that logic, how is “abortion” not a matter of women’s health?
Or, perhaps Rep. Pence did not intend to make a factual statement.
The pro-forced-birth rightwing is at the point at which they are so desperate to vilify Planned Parenthood that they don’t even try to sound reality-based. They’ll just say any old shit on the Senate floor and then tell us it “was not intended to be a factual statement” (!!!) as if that’s supposed to help their case.
You know you’re an asshole when Stephen Colbert can’t hold in his laughter while he’s sporking you on his show.
So, dear anti-family-planning Congressmen, please elaborate on your concern for black babies. Please, in your own words, tell us the significance of the number of Planned Parenthood clinics in majority-black or “ethnic” neighborhoods. Elaborate, please, on how you would like to see young, poor women (particularly women of color) approach motherhood. Please, tell us what you have to offer their families once those children are born. Please, give us your thoughts on the number of black infants who die in the first year of life, the percentage of families headed by black mothers who receive visits by CPS, and the numbers of black teenagers and young adults who end up incarcerated.
We’re all ears.