To the Editor;
With all the dramatic news coming from Wisconsin and Egypt, I hope that American citizens will not fail to notice that the House of Representatives has just voted to cut all federal funds to Planned Parenthood, an organization that is the primary health care provider to millions of Americans.
Planned Parenthood provides pre-natal care, breast exams, screenings for several forms of cancer and sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV, and access to affordable contraception to mostly low-income women in urban and rural areas. Despite what extremists in the House say, previous legislation already assures that federal dollars do not go to fund the safe, legal abortions that Planned Parenthood also provides. Pulling funding from Planned Parenthood is not “defunding” abortion, it is denying life-saving health care to women.
This trend is deeply disturbing: in the past few months, legislators on the federal and state level have tried to re-define rape, passed legislation making it legal to murder abortion providers (South Dakota), introduced bills that would require criminal investigations into every miscarriage (Georgia) and re-name victims of rape as “accusers” (again, Georgia).
What a tragic irony it is that as the United States claims to support democracy abroad, so many of our leaders simultaneously seek to control women’s bodies and futures. We will not balance our federal or state budgets by waging war on American women and their families. I hope our New York senators will vote against the Pence Amendment to DeFund Title X.
The Rev. David S. Blanchard, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton