Yesterday, the House of Representatives took the first step to dismantle a recently issued Dept. of Health & Human Services rule that prohibits states from prioritizing their own local health departments and other health care providers for funding. It’s been aptly described as a “parting gift to Planned Parenthood” from the Obama administration. But the legislature has the power to reverse it under the Congressional Review Act, and under the CRA, it won’t be subject to filibuster in the Senate; a simple 51-vote majority is all we need.
The House vote came shortly after we asked you on facebook: “What reforms would you need to see from Planned Parenthood before you would be comfortable with it receiving taxpayer funding? Would cessation of abortions be enough, or do you have additional concerns?”
Some of you thought that cessation of abortion would be enough. On the other end of the spectrum, many of you offered that you do not want to see Planned Parenthood
funding under any circumstances, because you believe Planned Parenthood is too corrupt to be meaningfully reformed. (A few of you also made a case for defunding on libertarian grounds.)
The most-liked answer by far came from Sarah M., who wrote:
I would want to see them held accountable as mandatory reporters for abuse/trafficking/prostitution. Remember the reports of the staff helping pimps use the right words to explain the girls they were bringing in for birth control? And IIRC, reports of stepfathers bringing in daughters for abortions of babies they fathered.
In Illinois, there is a new law that hair stylists cannot renew their license if they are not trained to recognize domestic abuse. Surely in a “healthcare” environment we could do something like that and more.
Right on, Sarah. Other conditions you suggested:
Susan M.: “I want Planned Parenthood to consider life sacred. I know I’m speaking to secular folks. I don’t mean in the narrowly religious sense, I mean that respect for human life in all forms, to treasure it, is the beginning of all civilization, everything flows from that. We need to respect the woman, if she chooses to want pregnancy or not, and if she does, to celebrate that choice. I want them to treat each [woman] as a person, not a profit center. And no referrals out to other abortion providers.”
Ellen K.: “Quit the kind of lobbying I’ve seen in my state: threatening that their clients will lose health care if the state denies a contract to the local PP affiliate, while the affiliate spends more than that amount on ‘public policy’ work.”
Ben C.: “More mammograms. If they expect to receive federal tax money and champion reproductive health in general, they need to put their money where their mouth is.”
Julie D: “To be honest with women about the science of human reproduction, and the science of abortion.”
Helena P.: “The only issue I have with PP is their practice of non-medical, elective abortions and their media monopoly on women’s healthcare. Their ‘we are the only saving grace left, no other centers can help you like we can!!’ rhetoric has to go. There are plenty of local women’s clinics as well as the city health department that all offer many of the same services, they aren’t helping women as they claim to by trying to discredit other options in order to secure clients.
James P.: “Quit calling yourself nonprofit when your CEO makes 6 figures. Disown the racist beliefs of your founder. Report sex trafficking to authorities if people come in that you suspect are being abused. Oh one other thing, if abortion really only makes up 3% of your total health services, why do you care if you’d have to drop that to receive taxpayer funding? See what I mean about being intellectually honest?”
Kristin S.: “At first I was going to answer ‘Yes’ – that I would be okay with funding PP if it did not provide abortions, but after reading the many good points made here, I think it needs to go away entirely.”