Archive for the ‘Planned Parenthood’ Category

by Pete Talbot

Abortion, birth control, women’s health care and religious freedom have all been in the news lately, often in the same story.

As a man, I’m not even sure I get to comment on this but since knotheaded dudes write letters to the editor all the time decrying a woman’s right to choose and a couple of Montana Catholic Bishops, neither whom are women, have made pronouncements, here goes.

Let’s start with Congressman Rehberg’s response to the Obama administration’s rule that birth control should be provided in insurance plans for Catholic schools and hospitals:

“This order is government intrusion into the private lives of Americans under the guise of health care reform and infringes on the religious liberty of women and men of faith in direct opposition to the religious freedom enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution,” says Rehberg.

So, some non-Catholic woman working in St. Patrick Hospital’s cafeteria will not have access to affordable birth control because of some archaic religious belief.  Talk about infringing on the “religious liberty of women” as “enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution,” right Denny?

To the uber-Catholic women who happen to work at St. Pats and are opposed to birth control: just don’t use it (you can always use the rhythm method.  That works, sometimes).

Closer to home, the Ravalli County Commissioners, by a 3-2 vote, are accepting Title X family planning funding.  This would seem like a no-brainer — around $40K for birth control, annual exams, pregnancy and pap tests, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, nutrition education and counseling, on a sliding scale.

But of course these commissioners have issues that deal with a lack of parental notification for minors.  They’re willing to sacrifice low-cost women’s health programs for their narrow ideology.

Granted, I’d want my kids to talk to me about their sexual concerns.  I’d rather they have access to an STD or pregnancy test, birth control, or sexual education and counseling, if they choose not to confide in me .

Again, I’m always amazed by the less-government intrusion crowd dictating their moral imperatives to the rest of us, via government programs.  The overused but accurate “hypocrite” comes to mind.

All this news comes on the heels of the Susan G. Komen controversy.  If you believe that attacks by the right on women’s health care issues aren’t still in play, often under the misnomer of “religious freedom,” you’d be wrong.

by jhwygirl

By now most of you have heard of the Susan G. Kolman for the Cure Foundation hullaboo over them having pulled funding from Planned Parenthood for mammogram funding. Because Planned Parenthood is under investigation by Congress.

Because, you know, women’s health is an issue for a bunch of old white men in DC to decide.

Statistically, most of you that read this blog are men. I don’t know if the severity of this is something that you all understand. Planned Parenthood has been under attack for decades now because a very very tiny portion of the many services it provides to women includes abortion. The House has voted to eliminate it’s funding at least twice last year with all the budget battles.

This attack on Planned Parenthood represents an attack on women’s health issues and free choice.

The bulk of what Planned Parenthood does is regular old women’s doctor stuff – and we’ve got lots of parts that need regular maintenance and inspection. That preventative health care is provided to women of all incomes, and in areas where access to healthcare is limited. While they provide birth control pills, they also provide obstetric care.

I was outraged when I heard this late Tuesday – that’s because Twitter is light years ahead of everything, including print media. I was more outraged to find the GOP agenda directly imprinted on the more by Susan G. Kolman.

Meg Lanker, of Cognitive Dissonance was on this story like the winds that batter I-80 outside of Laramie, Wyoming from where she writes. You must follow her on twitter. Immediately she pointed out that Susan G. Kolman’s new VP of Public Policy, Karen Handel, vowed to defund Planned Parenthood when she ran for governor of Georgia. Ms. Lanker also provides Ms. Handel’s mailing and email address – just in case you wanted your thank you note from Planned Parenthood sent her way.

Shannyn Moore, another favorite blogger of mine going back to the 2008 election (she provides investigative political reporting and commentary from The Mudflats), tweeted this very early (Montana time) Wednesday morning:

@shannynmoore Shannyn Moore
Planned Parenthood found my lump on a Tuesday and I was in surgery on Friday. I was 33. #ThanksPP #SuckItKomen

From there, 1000’s of women spoke up for what Planned Parenthood has done for them. I didn’t read of one abortion. We’re talking life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatments. Lives saved.

Susan G. continues to defend its stance – even now. A nonpolitical decision, they say – and their funding of breast cancer will continue as their mission. Women will just have to go about differently. Maybe they’ll weather this storm, but I think it’s more likely they end up battered and significantly downsized with support after this. People are already pulling funding, burning ribbons and pulling from races.

Their pink-shirted races being their most visible message. So while conservative money may pour into Susan G. as a result of this choice, throwing a partisan blanket on what was a cause that brought women together of all folds has now been forever changed.

We’ve reached a point in this nation where national organizations can be taken over by GOP ideologies. Susan G. Kolman no longer represents elimination of cancer, it represents the conservative ideology of making a woman’s vagina a crime scene, subject to the scrutiny of elected officials.

Susan G. should be losing their tax-free status (though I won’t be holding my breath). What congress has to do with breast cancer and Susan G. Kolman for the Cure’s choice in funding, I don’t know – but that connection alone should be clear enough a political connection that their mission is muddled.

by Pete Talbot

Of course, with his excellent taxpayer paid health care, he’d get state-of-the-art treatment.  If, however, he was a lower or middle-class man or woman seeking affordable treatment in Montana, his options would be limited.  Whether it was an STD or some other reproductive health issue, or just some condoms, considering the bill he and his congressional cohorts passed, he can forget about Planned Parenthood.

It’s called the Pence Amendment, named after a very nasty little Republican representative from Indiana named Mike Pence.  It’s an attack on Title X family planning and specifically Planned Parenthood. The vote was 240-185, pretty much along party lines.

Here’s a synopsis from Montana Planned Parenthood’s CEO, Stacy James:

In attacking Planned Parenthood, the House Republican leadership including Representative Rehberg, has launched an outrageous assault on the thousands of Montanans who rely on our local clinics for primary and preventive health care, including lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, family planning visits, birth control, HIV testing, and more.

I suppose that the representatives voting for this bill thought they were targeting abortion providers.  But by restricting access to sex education and birth control, they’re actually increasing the chance that an abortion will be needed.

And Rehberg is leading the pack in this assault on Montana families, particularly woman who don’t have high-end health care plans like Denny.  More STDs and abortions, fewer cancer screenings, less access to birth control, the end of sex education for teens; thanks Denny.

by Pete Talbot

I was chatting with a friend who’d just returned from Helena. On behalf of Planned Parenthood, she’d gone up there to meet with Missoula’s legislative delegation. It’s a constant battle at the Montana Legislature — allowing Montanans access to sex education and health care and birth control, and maintaining a woman’s right to choose.

All our area legislators were happy to meet with her. All but one: Champ Edmunds, Republican from House District 100. He just flat out refused to meet with her and her contingent of Planned Parenthood board members, progressive clergy and concerned citizens.

When I mentioned this to another area legislator, she was aghast. You may not agree with all of your constituents, she said, but you still meet with them. You listen to them and then say something pithy like, “Thank you for coming and I appreciate your efforts but we’ll have to agree to disagree.”

But not Champ. He won’t even meet with the folks from his home town. Apparently, they finally cornered him in the hallway. Here’s a synopsis from my friend:

He did hear us out in the end, but he didn’t give us much time. His statements can be summarized as follows: he’ll support anything that is pre-conception (education and birth control), but once a woman is pregnant, she just has to tough it out for nine months and give the kid up for adoption. I would be surprised, however, if he does actually support any of the bills that provide support/access/money to women/teens for education and birth control.

I, too, would be surprised if Champ supported any kind of legislation allowing birth control, reproductive education or health care. It’s not his style. I’ll say it again: Champ is a chump.

by jhwygirl

That’s because the state’s low income health insurance plan for children through the age of 19 covers prenatal care, delivery and postnatal care for teen moms.

The cost? $720,000.

Yesterday, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the State of Montana for its selective policies regarding denial of birth control, saying it is a violation of privacy and equal protection rights in the state constitution

What is their policy?

Montana Public Radio reported that teens insured through CHIP, part of Healthy Montana Kids, cannot obtain birth control if it’s being used only to prevent pregnancy, though they can get birth control to treat acne or heavy menstrual cycles.

Now, that makes sense.

And how did this happen? State Senator Keith Bales (a Republican) struck a deal in the last days of the session which removed funding for CHIP recipient’s birth control – but only when it’s used as birth control.

This really is the kind of stuff that is at stake here at the state level. Ya’all might not care to much for the national stuff, but I certainly hope everyone is paying attention to the state level. Make sure everyone you know is voting – shoot an email around, pick up the phone.

Get ‘er done, people It’s THIS important.

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