President Obama has made a move that, if successful, will protect funding for Planned Parenthood not only through the end of his presidency, but forever. This, of course is very bad news for conservatives across the nation and very good news for women and anyone who cares about their ability to make their own decisions.
With the rash of red states (who inexplicably care about human life all of a sudden when a fetus is involved) fighting tooth-and-nail to deprive women of health care services in their nonsensical attacks on Planned Parenthood, the organization’s ability to continue to provide services is something that absolutely must be protected. To that end, the Obama administration has proposed a new rule that would block Republicans or anyone else who opposes women’s rights from withholding Title X federal funding from organizations like Planned Parenthood for any reason aside from the provider’s “ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.”
“This will make a real difference in so many people’s lives,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said of the proposed rule. “Thanks to the Obama administration, women will still be able to access the birth control they need to plan their families, and the cancer screenings they need to stay healthy.”
This is, of course, a huge move on the Obama administration’s part. The Huffington Post notes that:
The Title X program provides basic preventive health care and family planning services for 4 million low-income Americans. About 85 percent of patients who use Title X have incomes below $23,500. Planned Parenthood serves about a third of those patients, using the $70 million a year it receives in Title X grants to subsidize contraceptives and cancer and sexually transmitted infection screenings for people who can’t afford them.
Though Title X funds may not be used to pay for abortions for any reason, the right-wing witch hunt against Planned Parenthood lead 11 states to vote to block the organization from receiving these much-needed funds.
Things may look bleak for Republicans who, spurred by heavily-edited sham videos that claim the organization sells “baby parts” (the organization has since refused reimbursement for fetal tissue donations), seek to defund the women’s health organization. But if Benghazi has taught us anything, it’s that they have this almost superhuman ability to beat a dead horse endlessly.
“This latest stunt from President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services should surprise absolutely no one,” said Rep. Diane Black, a member of the House committee still inexplicably investigating the discredited videos’ claims. “We must use the full force of Congress and the grassroots strength of the national pro-life movement to defeat this absurd rule and prevent the Obama Administration from acting unilaterally to carry out political favors and prop up a scandal-ridden abortion provider.”
If the rule managed to stick after a 30-day public comment period — which is likely — it will be a great day for anyone who genuinely cares about health care.
Featured image via Getty Images/Lintao Zhang