Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And the Hits Keep a Comin': NC Bars Planned Parenthood from Receiving State and Federal Funding

Shortly after midnight last night, North Carolina became the third state to ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state or federal funds when a Republican minority and five turncoat Democrats in the General Assembly overrode Governor Bev Perdue's veto of their budget. The Senate still has to vote, but since they have a strong Republican majority, it will almost certainly pass there. As a result, thousands of women across the state are at risk of losing access to their only source of healthcare and family planning services.

I am one of them. Fortunately, my birth control renewal (I buy three months at a time because it's cheaper) happened a month ago, and I therefore have enough nuva rings to last me until I start school in August. Hopefully, the school health clinic will offer my birth control at prices comparable to Planned Parenthood's, and I won't have to worry about getting knocked up and coming up with the cash to cover an abortion (perhaps I could bill the General Assembly). There are many, many other women out there who aren't so fortunate. Like me, they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but work at jobs that don't provide insurance (or, in my case, have insurance policies that are so expensive that employees are unable to use them) and don't pay well enough to allow them to purchase private full coverage. Planned Parenthood is an invaluable resource for us, and these cuts could result in a loss or interruption of services.

Planned Parenthood has promised to challenge this in court. While I'm certain they'll win, given the smackdown that Indiana just received at the hands of Health and Human Services and Obama's (frankly shocking, given the way he threw abortion rights under the bus during the health care reform debate) pledged support of Planned Parenthood, a legal battle will cost both the organization and the state of North Carolina money that could be better spent elsewhere. Every dollar that Planned Parenthood spends defending itself against right-wing attack legislation is a dollar they could be spending doing something that no anti-choice politician has ever done: preventing unwanted pregnancies (and abortions!) by educating and providing contraceptives to the population. North Carolina's money would be far better spent addressing certain important educational and employment issues facing the state, but apparently anti-choice grandstanding is more important to state Republicans than addressing our almost 10% unemployment rate and moving our schools out of competition with Tennessee and Mississippi for "Worst Schools in the Entire Country."

It's worth mentioning that the budget in question also made dramatic cuts to education.

If you're in Asheville, there's going to be a rally against this action on July 4th, 11 AM - 1 PM at the Vance monument downtown. I may or may not be there due to my job, but I'll try to make it if possible. There's a facebook event page here.


  1. So. Freaking. Stupid. I almost wish I could change my ticket flying home from Charlotte the 1st, take Monday off, and go to the protest. It makes me so angry. If you are AGAINST abortion shouldn't you WANT to fund those things that make less people need them? Like, say, reasonably priced contraceptive and family planning options. Also, basic health care for women and children being as apparently you 'care' about 'family values'??? I do. not. get. it. at. all.

  2. I don't get it either, and I was raised in a Republican/Southern Baptist family. The whole thing makes my head explode. Republicans piss and moan about how much money social entitlements cost, then do everything in their power to create more poor people. It's so mind-bendingly WTF. The huge amount of cognitive dissonance involved in believing the things they believe while advocating the courses of action they do overloaded all of my critical thinking circuits.

    My theory is that they are so far out of touch with reality that they sincerely believe that if abortion becomes illegal, people will just stop having them, that telling teens about safe sex will make them all go out and have orgies, that the HPV virus constitutes a license to promiscuity, and no amount of evidence will convince them otherwise. Unfortunately, there's no fixing that flavor of stupidity, because these beliefs have become a matter of faith to those people. Pointing out the flaws in their arguments goes over about as well as pointing out historical inaccuracies in the Bible.

    Gotta keep fighting the good fight, I guess.

  3. I was also raised Conservative (the Canadian equivalent to... well... nah, not quite equivalent but our party on the right ;) heh) and Baptist - though again our evangelical Baptist still isn't quite the same. Listening to an audio book now that is talking about prohibition and how, well, it didn't work and I can't help but compare that to things like the war on drugs and fight against abortion!