I was disappointed to hear on NPR this morning, on Shakesville, and in my email inbox from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA), that Obama has caved to Republican pressure and has personally called Henry Waxman to remove provisions from the bailout that would increase funding for birth control for low income women.
First of all, there is no argument that this would increase jobs, both at clinics and at pharmacies. Secondly, it would DECREASE ABORTIONS. 40% of unplanned pregnancies end in elective terminations. Low income women are MUCH more likely to get pregnant and to choose abortion than higher income women. Third, it would decrease unplanned pregnancies that are carried to term by women who are on public insurance and other social welfare services. More pregnant low income means more government on WIC, welfare and Medicaid. A lot of that is state money. States are really strapped right now.
I cannot believe Obama is caving on this issue. Women’s reproductive issues have already been the red headed stepchild of this administration, when they buried ending the Gag Rule in some effort to make it seem less controversial. We need to stop letting the minority define this position. Also, I don’t believe for one second that taking that provision out will increase Republican support for the bailout. I think it’s pretty clear that the main Republican strategy for rejuvenating its base after this last catastrophe of an election is to oppose the bailout. Throwing poor women’s uteri under the bus is not going to change that one bit.
If anyone wants to take action, check out the action alert at the NFPRHA site.