All weekend long I have been thinking about the Federal Government Budget deal. And the confrontation over Planned Parenthood. I am upset and angry. Planned Parenthood is not the problem with our Federal budget. They provide much needed healthcare for many Americans. Don’t tell me that they use federal funds for abortion. They do not. The Hyde Amendment took care of that. But let me remind everyone. Abortion is legal in this country. Denying women health care is an attack on women. It is an attack on the poor and an attack on people of color. Because Planned Parenthood and the other clinics who provide Title X healthcare and cancer screening and family counseling and STD screenings reach out and serve those who are economically challenged. Seven Percent of the clients of Planned Parenthood are men who come for birth control and cancer screenings.
The real problem in the US is the Defense Budget. We fought two wars -one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan both places we are still fighting in (although there are less troops in Iraq now than before) with a credit card. President Bush waged war and gave a tax cut. That never happened before. And now the foray into Libya adds to the Defense bill. Miltarization. This is something Dr. King warned us about and preached about.
The Republicans and those who call themselves a subset–the Tea Partiers have simply rebranded old Right wing extremist views. The Tea Party said they were about fiscal responsibility and got incensed and their feelings hurt when they were called out as racists. The Tea Party was and is a white backlash to the growing people of color and immigrant majority in this country. They attack the very programs who help the poor. The poor in this country are disproportionately people of color.
And this last week with their silly but almost effective attack on Planned Parenthood showed their true colors . They don’t care about so -called fiscal responsibility. They use it to divert your attention trying to shut down our government over social issues. That is what they tried to do last week.
Here is what 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s budget does;
-nearly one million screenings for cervical cancer
-830,000 breast exams
-affordable birth control to nearly 2.5 million patients
-nearly four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV testing
Funding for the 90 year old Planned Parenthood is .0083o percent of the federal budget! This attack by social conservatives is to do away with the organization. Let’s be honest. They are still the same right wing extremists who always use abortion and gay marriage to divert your attention to the real crisis in America. And that is the growing militarization of our country.
Yes security is critical and there are new and different threats in the world that have to be addresses but you can’t keep giving corporations a free ride (Like GE who paid no taxes) and taking healthcare away from those who need it most. You can’t keep growing the defense budget at the risk of our nation’s health.
This is absurd. It is a diversion. Speak up people.