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Hullabaloo


Thursday, July 14, 2016

 
These people supposedly love babies

by digby

















You may remember this from a couple of weeks ago:

The rapidly spreading Zika virus — which can be transmitted sexually and by mosquitos — is most dangerous for pregnant women. But Republicans in Congress on Thursday released a funding proposal limiting the distribution of contraceptives and preventing family planning organizations like Planned Parenthood from participating in the effort to help women in Zika-affected areas delay pregnancy.  
The House passed a proposal that allocates $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus — just over half the amount the Obama administration requested four months ago to stop the epidemic.  
Democrats are furious that Republicans short-changed the president’s funding request. They are particularly upset that the bill excludes $50 million in requested funds for maternal and child health and blocks supplemental funds from going to Planned Parenthood for birth control services. The bill mandates that the Zika funds be prioritized for mosquito control programs, vaccines and diagnostics, leaving no resources for contraceptives or condoms.  
“It is unthinkable that in the face of a public health emergency, Republicans chose to pass a hyperpartisan proposal that doubles down on using women’s health as a political football by restricting access to women’s health care, like contraception, which is especially critical to preventing the spread of this virus,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member on the Senate Health Committee.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the bill would sufficiently address the crisis.

“It is a responsible plan that assures the administration will continue to have the needed resources to protect the public,” he said.

And:

They went a step further last week, proposing to eliminate the Title X Family Planning program, which provides low-cost family planning and health services.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) expressed her frustration with the situation, urging her colleagues to help women in Zika-affected countries access free contraception.

“We can’t have one hand tied behind our back by saying, as the House said, that none of this money can be used for non-governmental organizations to provide birth control, which is so critical,” Boxer said.

“Countries think they solved a problem when they just tell the women, ‘Don’t get pregnant,’” she added. “There’s something wrong with that on so many levels.”

Republicans refused to back down and put this inadequate bill back on the floor today. From NARAL:

For the second time in two weeks, Senate Republicans put their dangerous response to Zika on the floor for a vote. The bill fails to protect women and the children they may wish to have by inserting funding restrictions on family planning. Just yesterday in a U.S. Senate hearing, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and USAID confirmed the need for women and men to have access to family planning information and services during this time—yet Senate Republicans refuse to follow their recommendation.

They really don't give a damn. If they can make a political point about women being sluts, they're happy to do it even if it means babies being born with catastrophic birth defects. It's as sickening as it gets. And keep in mind that people are not talking about abortion here. They are blocking funds for contraception too. It's about sex. But then it always is. They never really cared about babies.



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