Nice Women's Health Clinic You Got Here, Shame What They're About To Do To It
Donald Trump, a man who apparently doesn't know the difference between HPV and HIV, is expected to announce a new federal rule that will bar health care facilities that receive Title X funding from performing abortions or even issuing referrals to abortion providers. Oh, but they definitely won't do the second part, they swear, why, that would be nuts!
This is just the latest step in the Right's war to defund Planned Parenthood, as the law would mean that they would have to stop providing abortions entirely in order to continue receiving Title X funds for things like contraception and STI testing -- which they're obviously not going to do. This is a major issue, given that one-third of those who get their birth control through Title X programs do so through Planned Parenthood.
The New York Times explains:
The policy would be a return to one instituted in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan that required abortion services to have a “physical separation” and “separate personnel” from other family planning activities. That policy is often described as a domestic gag rule because it barred caregivers at facilities that received family planning funds from providing any information to patients about an abortion or where to receive one. But a Trump administration official who detailed the forthcoming proposal said the new version of the policy would not impose a blanket prohibition on abortion counseling.
Yes, we're quite sure, they definitely won't stomp up and down on us with both feet. They promised!
What this means is that a doctor who provides abortions cannot also offer Title X funded family planning services. There are myriad logistical problems with this, starting with the fact that there really aren't enough OB/GYNs to go around these days and moving forward to the fact that you're just not going to find a whole lot of anti-choice organizations offering Title X-funded contraceptives or STI screening services. There isn't anything to replace them.
The result of this law is not that there will be fewer abortions. Title X funding doesn't go to abortions in the first place, it goes to things like contraception and STI testing. The Hyde Amendment (which should be abolished anyway) already bars federal funding for abortion. These things have nothing to do with one another outside of who is providing them. The only thing it will do is reduce their ability to provide family planning services to low income Americans.
This would be as if, instead of having food stamps, the government gave grocery stores a certain amount of groceries to give away to the poor, and then threatened to discontinue this program if the stores did not agree to stop selling alcohol, a perfectly legal substance to have. Who would be most affected by this? People who want to drink alcohol or hungry poor people? My guess is the latter.
This is not just a war against abortion. It is also a war against contraception and we need to treat it as such. The fact that this will result in people having less access to contraception is not a bug, it's a feature. They want women out of the damn workforce and dependent on men for economic survival, and the best way to do that is to make it more likely that they are forced to give birth to children they do not want and cannot afford to have.
We can't even with these fuckers. Please send us money for booze, and also The Pill.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse