GOP War on Women and Planned Parenthood Continues in 2013

Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, at Lone Star Circle of Care Center in Georgetown,
Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, at Lone Star Circle of Care Center in Georgetown, Texas. Perry and Health and Human Service Commissioner Kyle Janek announced that the state is ready to begin a state-funded Women's Health Program that will provide preventative health services to low-income women. (AP Photo/, Ralph Barrera) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM

Republicans' motto in the war against women must be, if at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again to control a woman's birth control choices and defund Planned Parenthood. Last year, the GOP waged an all-out war and assault against women and Planned Parenthood. This year, the GOP introduced a bill to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funds which provides federal funds for family planning.

Republican representative Marsha Blackburn introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 61), which would stop the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from providing federal family planning assistance under Title X, including Planned Parenthood. The reintroduction of this legislation in the 113th Congress is similar to legislation Pence introduced in the 112th Congress (H.R. 217). In introducing the bill, "Blackburn said:

As a woman, I believe America deserves better than abortion. America shouldn't celebrate abortion and our taxpayers shouldn't subsidize abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, who profit from the destruction of human life with taxpayer money. It's fiscally irresponsible and morally indefensible.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund responded by saying:

Some members of Congress just don't get it. Two years ago, the first order of business for Tea Party Republicans was blocking women's access to health care and defunding Planned Parenthood, and now they're at it again. They apparently learned nothing from the results of the last election, when Americans said overwhelmingly that they do not want politicians dictating women's access to health care.

This legislation would limit women's access to the wide range of preventive health care services that Planned Parenthood health centers provide, including cancer screenings, breast exams and birth control.

The 2013 bill introduced into Congress follows on the heels of a Texas law which bans funding for Planned Parenthood in the state of Texas. A Texas law that bars state funds for organizations that perform or promote abortion, including Planned Parenthood, took effect in the state on January 1. Republican Governor Rick Perry signed that bill into law while praising it.

What Republican lawmakers fail to accept is that an estimated 3 million women and men annually go to 800 Planned Parenthood centers across America. Ninety-seven percent seek services for annual exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraceptives, well-woman health visits and health education. Well-woman health visits allow a woman to be assessed for other health issues such as diabetes and hypertension. And then Planned Parenthood ensures that they receive care elsewhere, if needed. Republicans want to make Planned Parenthood out to be an organization that solely provides abortions. That's simply not true and only 3 percent of their services. Republicans need to get over their vendetta against Planned Parenthood and move on to the major issues facing this country.

Instead of trying to spend time passing bills aimed at attacking women and their right to birth control, cancer screenings and productive rights choice, the GOP should aim its attention to the business of major issues affecting this country such as the economy, unemployment, jobs, gun control, education, prison reform, immigration reform and full access to health care. If the Republican-controlled Congress paid attention to any of these issues, they would not have time to re-hash issues on which the American people have spoken on.

In the 2012 election, a majority of women voters voted for President Obama. And women have overwhelmingly made it clear that they prefer that men and women like Rep. Blackburn stay out of their bedrooms. The GOP needs to get the memo and read it.

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