Like most people in President Donald Trump’s incredibly sexist administration, Vice President Mike Pence has been one of the most vicious adversaries of the Planned Parenthood — a nonprofit that provides reproductive health care services to low-income Americans across the country.
The Republicans claim the organization uses taxpayer money to provide abortions, which is just not true, considering most patients pay for such services out of their own pockets unless their health insurance covers it. The federal funding is used for other health care services — including affordable birth control options, STI and HIV screenings, pap smears and breast cancer exams.
However, since the new administration clearly does not care about women, or low-income Americans for that matter, it was finally able to do something it had been rallying to accomplish for years by taking Congress a step closer to defunding Planned Parenthood.
Opponents of Planned Parenthood have Mike Pence to thank for that.
The Senate recently voted to overturn former President Barack Obama’s last-ditch effort to save the health care provider from the Republican-controlled government. The vote to overrule the legislation barring states from withholding funds from clinics that also offered abortion services came to a tie, which Pence was more than happy to break.
Grinning like a Cheshire cat that just got the mouse, the vice president effectively passed the bill allowing allow states to withhold federal Title X from health care clinics like Planned Parenthood or reasons having nothing to do with the quality of care they provide.
“Mike Pence went from yesterday’s forum on empowering women to today leading a group of male politicians in a vote to take away access to birth control and cancer screenings,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement. “There’s a reason they could barely get enough votes to get this bill through a procedural step: People are sick and tired of politicians making it even harder for them to access health care, and they will not stand for it.”
The Title X grant of the Public Health Service Act is the only federal program focused solely on providing family planning. Since 1970, the government has been making these grants to organizations that provide such services.
“President Trump and our administration, I promise you, are gonna work tirelessly to empower women to be able to climb the ladder of opportunity,” he said at the time. “Under President Trump's leadership, the future for our country, and the future for American women, is brighter than ever before.”
Yes, they aim to make the future for American women “brighter than ever before” by snatching away their reproductive rights.
Do they even realize the devastating affect their personal vendetta against Planned Parenthood would have on lower and middle-income people, especially women?
“Most Title X patients are low-income women, and disproportionately women of color, who are uninsured and ineligible for Medicaid,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America in a statement. “Reversal of this rule could make it easier for state politicians to block a woman's access to contraception and critical preventive care at women's health clinics across the country.”
Sadly, all that Trump and his cronies care about is enriching the rich and leave the poor to fend for themselves.
Here is what social media users had to say about Pence’s tie-breaking vote in the Senate.
Yesterday Mike Pence held a Women’s Empowerment Forum. Today he cast the tie-breaking vote taking away access to birth control under Title X— Danielle Campoamor (@DCampoamor) March 30, 2017
Maybe if Mike Pence was ever in a room with a woman other than his wife he might know how important Title X health care is.— Billiam (@billiams) March 30, 2017
@mike_pence, your vote re: Title X was wrong. How can you talk about women's empowerment one day and limit their health choices the next?— Patricia White (@pwhite68) March 30, 2017
Mike Pence's vote on Title X was despicable. How can he claim to be "pro-life" and cut off access to family planning at the same time?— hannah mckinney (@mad_hanner) March 30, 2017
Public opinion poll. Do you think Mike Pence knows what Title X is? I think, no.— Kim Anderson (@kimranderson) March 31, 2017
.@VP Mike Pence sighs in relief, guaranteeing himself a lifetime of meals without women after cruelly voting to strip Title X funding.— Jason (@mgskarn) March 30, 2017
Previously, Trump offered Planned Parenthood a deal to keep its funding in exchange for something impossible. He reportedly gave the organization an ultimatum: Either lose federal funding or stop providing abortions.
Planned Parenthood, in good conscience, refused the Trumpian proposal.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst