Monday, February 28, 2011

Op-Ed of the Day

You know Republicans have gone too far when conservative billionaire Richard Scaife is livid over the GOP House of Representatives cutting all funding to Planned Parenthood.

On this issue, Republicans and conservatives are dead wrong.

Abortions are a minor aspect of Planned Parenthood's mission to provide reproductive health care, education and other services to Americans, regardless of income.

More than 90 percent of its work focuses on preventing unintended pregnancies that almost inevitably lead to unwanted, neglected and abused children.

In Pittsburgh and across America, Planned Parenthood offices help people to make better decisions about whether to have children. They help to arrange adoptions for women or couples unable to raise a child but unwilling to end a pregnancy.

Most of their clients are poor Americans who cannot afford birth-control measures that cost as much as $1,500 a month.

Scaife knew Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. The importance of Sanger can not be overstated. Scaife writes that Sanger wanted women to be the "absolute mistress of her own body." Republicans would have government be the final say on reproductive rights.

Zero federal dollars go to Planned Parenthood for abortions. The Hyde amendment forbids federal funds for abortions. Since 2006, only 85 women have had federally covered abortions. These abortions were extreme cases. The Hyde amendment is a rider placed into the Medicaid bill. Democrats never attempt to pull the rider. Unfortunately, the current Democratic leadership does not have Sanger's courage.

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