Hello! Lilipop here.
Today I wanted to talk about the defunding of Planned Parenthood in Texas.
You probably have read about it but if not or you didn’t understand I will try to explain what’s been happening in that crazy place we call America.
It was announced on New Years Eve (which is probably why it has had next to no coverage) that judges had decided that the state of Texas could cut off funding to a program run by Planned Parenthood that provided family planning to poor women through the State Womens Health Program. This included basic care such as birth control, cancer screenings, pre natal care and advice and the program served 48,000 poor women.
“This sounds like an important service” I hear you say “why would Texas want to cut it off?”
Well it comes down to Texas’ so called “affiliate rule”. This is a law pushed through by Texan Republican law makers last year that says State funding can not be given to an organisation or an organisation affiliated with an organisation that perform abortions or is pro-choice. This law was justified by the people who wanted this law by saying that Texas is a “pro-choice” State.
Abortions are in fact legal in Texas but all women who want or need abortions must have two counselling sessions including an ultrasound scan at least 24 hours before the abortion. The State of Texas will pay for an abortion but only in the case of rape, incest or if the mother is in danger if the woman is covered under the government healthcare programs. Insurance rarely covers the cost of abortions either so it almost always has to be paid for out of the women’s pocket and can cost a women more than $500 as well as being an incredibly traumatic experience, prolonged by the mandatory counselling sessions and scans. Planned Parenthood provides abortion services privately in Texas as well as in other states and that is the problem.
Planned Parenthood has 74 independent local affiliates that operate nearly 800 health centres around the USofA; because the health centers providing the free, important health care for poor women are affiliated with the health centres providing abortions privately, by Texan law, they cannot have any State funding.
Now you would think with the amount of fuss Texas is going to, leaving tens of thousands of women without basic healthcare, that planned parenthood must be performing abortions left, right and centre! In fact only 3% of the services provided by planned parenthood are abortion services. Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health care, education and information to almost 5 million women, men and adolescents. Most of their services are aimed at PREVENTING unintended pregnancy but they also perform 770,000 Pap tests and 750,000 breast exams each year which are essential to detecting cancer. They also perform more than 4 million STI tests each year.
I find it disgraceful that, firstly, these people think that they have the right to dictate what a woman can and cannot do with her body and secondly, that they are letting these misguided and in my opinion WRONG WRONG WRONG beliefs affect their political decisions that affect tens of thousands of women. They have denied women not only their right to reproductive health care but also sexual health care, contraception, cancer tests and education on all of these.
Why can women not choose for themselves what they do and do not want to do with their bodies? Why are women not trusted to make important decisions for themselves? Why are men making these decisions? That’s right, it is mostly men, who will never get pregnant and will never have an abortion are making these choices for women. Here is an interesting fact for you, women make up 20-25% of Texan Lawmakers and only 18.3% of the United States’ House of Representatives which is absolutely disgusting and even worse when you know, that is SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than North Korea, in which women make up 1/3 of representative positions. This makes me want to throw up then punch the US goverment in the face. Very hard.
I think every women should have a choice. Poor Texan women are not given a choice. Their own goverment is crushing their choices.
I am way too angry to write any more but I expect you can imagine your own rant now!
Lots of ANGRY love