Happy birthday, Susan B. Anthony! Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is voting whether or not to eliminate Planned Parenthood funding provided under the Title X family planning program. So much for women's rights! And so much for many women's healthy, happy sex lives that currently are owed to Planned Parenthood.
From a statement by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards:
Unbelievably, the House Leadership has set its sights on abolishing a program that provides lifesaving and preventive care to millions of women and saves taxpayers money by helping women plan their families. This is an extreme proposal, and the new leaders of the House are pushing it forward at great risk to women and at their own political peril.
Republicans say it's about abortion, priding themselves on pulling the rug out from under Planned Parenthood, because it's an "abortion business." They're riling up voters to think their tax dollars are going to some random irresponsible woman's abortion. But that is COMPLETELY misleading. Government dollars aren't allowed to be used toward abortion. Congress already prohibits that, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
Planned Parenthood is providing its patients so much more. In fact, if House Republicans have their way and Planned Parenthood goes under, 1.85 million women will be left with nowhere to get family-planning help (e.g. birth control, like condoms!) and medical care (like pap smears) at the clinics each year. Less access to these services is a direct assault on these women's ability to practice safe sex, or even fulfilling sex.
How many times have you skipped having sex because you forgot or there was a problem getting your birth control prescription filled? Have you ever had to put off sex with your hubby because you had a nasty infection or some wacky symptom you needed a gyno to check out first? Ever experienced painful sex or bleeding after sex? Or been on a birth control pill that was making you sick -- either mentally or physically -- but needed a doctor to prescribe you something else or insert a non-hormonal IUD? I've heard friends (single, married, straight, bi, gay, etc.) complain of ALL of these things, and in most cases, they needed family-planning help or medical care. It shouldn't be impossible, difficult, or ILLEGAL for them to find affordable access to either!
Plus, obviously we can't have happy, healthy, fireworks-causing sex if we're not healthy overall. Six in 10 women who access care from a family planning health center consider it to be their main source of health care ... their lifeline to being WELL! Because our health care system is totally screwed up, many women (young and old alike) rely on Planned Parenthood's Title X family planning program funding for basic primary and preventive health care, like ... breast exams and instruction on breast self-examination, Pap tests for early detection of cervical cancer or precancerous conditions, testing for high blood pressure, screening and appropriate treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV screening, counseling, referrals to specialized health care cancer screenings, contraception, STI testing and treatment, and annual exams.
But, who cares? House Republicans certainly don't. They'd be THRILLED to see Title X eliminated and would probably just shrug when, as a result, more women get sick and suffer from an increased risk of undetected cancer. How about more unintended pregnancies? There will be those, too, but hey, "Personal Responsibility comes first!" Even if affordable birth control is stripped away. I guess they should just become nuns?
So, I'm sorry to have to be the one to break it to you, but it looks like some of us are just going to have to say "sayonara!" to G-spot orgasms. Put sexual intimacy with our lovers on the back burner.
If Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and his thugs get their way in the House, a lot of women's sex lives will really take a hit. In a time when most of us could use all the endorphins we can get, what a damn shame.
Image via Beth Kanter/Flickr