Look what the Republican-majority U.S. House did late last night amid the Democratic sit-in.
They passed a bill to provide emergency money for the Zika crisis, but conditioned the bill on no money going to Planned Parenthood.
As Vox notes: Planned Parenthood distributes a significant amount of birth control pills in a $95 million government-backed program. Zika, which can cause birth defects, can be sexually transmitted. Birth control would be a good thing for prevention.
But, not Republicans in Congress decree, if the birth control is distributed by Planned Parenthood.
Again: Why do Republicans hate women, or at least hate providing them with medical autonomy and access to comprehensive health care?
Don’t believe your Arkansas Republican congressmen when they try to claim there are ample other sources of this medicine. There aren’t. PP is an important part of the delivery system. Wrote Sarah Kliff in an earlier Vox article:
Planned Parenthood plays a big role in women’s reproductive health care in America for two reasons: It has hundreds of clinics, and those clinics tend to serve a higher number of patients than other health-care providers.
About one in six American counties — 491 counties in total — have a Planned Parenthood clinic. Taken together, they see about 2.6 million patients annually.
Oh, sure some will be OK:
Higher-income women will find alternatives. But a sizable minority of Planned Parenthood’s patients, particularly low-income women, would lose access to medical services.
It hardly needs saying that Republicans don’t have much affection for low-income people either. Remember, the bottom 40 percent were deemed well-cared-for enough already and were omitted from Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s income tax cut.
The Vox story is important and comprehensive. Ask French Hill, Steve Womack, Bruce Westerman and Rick Crawford to justify their blindness. President Obama may veto the measure. It has faults beyond the punitive measure for Planned Parenthood. It follows Asa Hutchinson’s stealth Brownback approach of stealing money from other programs to fund pet projects — negative fallout be damned.
Not only did the bill fall short of what President Obama had asked for, but most of the funding was also offset by spending cuts — which isn’t typical for emergency funding, and which Democrats said could set a dangerous precedent. Moreover, most of those spending cuts came from Obamacare, and Ebola virus funding also took a hit.
“It is unthinkable that in the face of a public health emergency, Republicans chose to pass a hyperpartisan proposal that doubles down on using women’s health as a political football by restricting access to women’s health care, like contraception, which is especially critical to preventing the spread of this virus,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) in a statement.