Virginia Senate cuts Planned Parenthood funding

Here is some massively terrible news:

The Virginia Senate voted Wednesday to cut off state funding to Planned Parenthood of Virginia because it offers abortions, an action that could endanger hundreds of thousands of dollars in state aid for women’s health-care programs.
The decision, a major setback for the Senate’s new Democratic majority, marks the first time in more than a decade that the Senate has decided against giving state aid to the organization because of its abortion-related activities.

Can someone say slippery anti-choice slope? Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) noted that, “Once we start down this road, there will be no stopping.”
Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) pointed out that Planned Parenthood does a lot more than provide abortions – it provides affordable contraception!
“The irony is, Planned Parenthood probably prevents more abortions than any other organization in the country,” she said. But of course, anti-choicers aren’t concerned about preventing abortion – if they were, they’d be touting birth control – their real concern is limiting women’s choices and rolling back our rights.

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16 Comments

  1. Posted February 28, 2008 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    “The irony is, Planned Parenthood probably prevents more abortions than any other organization in the country,”
    Oh no! She’s wrong. Abstinence only education prevents abortions, by preventing teenage sex! Maybe if Planned Parenthood stopped promoting heathen-acts by giving people access to condoms and birth control the terrible act of women exercising agency over their bodies would end!
    God forbid that the government support an agency that actually supports women. Hell would freeze over and they’d have no where to send the “terrorists” and abortionists to.

  2. hdawg
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    This SUCKS. I emailed and called about this and nothing got through to those knuckleheads. At least here in NoVA (shout out, Fairfax!) they have some sense, but every vote making it harder to provide accessible healthcare to low-income men and women makes me furiouser and furiouser. I’ll be fine, you’ll be fine. But 16-year-old non-Juno-type chick?
    This should galvanize everyone to donate to PP in their state.

  3. GopherII
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    How is this even legal? If abortion is legal in the US, how can a state deprive funds to an organization solely because it offers abortions?

  4. Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Wait, the Senate Majority Leader is a Democrat? That means that, despite a Democratic majority, this bill passed? Wow is this country screwed.
    GopherII: The Supreme Court has held that the state can refuse funds for abortion – remember the Hyde Amendment? – so the Virginia legislator is within its legal right. Of course, this means that a woman’s right to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy becomes increasingly academic, but hey, who cares about women anyway, right?

  5. stickybetty
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    i’ve felt for some time that we need some sort of alternative to PP, because of several women’s complaints [my own included, and this mainly has to do with their emphasis on hormonal birth control, and lack of educated nurse practitioners]. this is what happens when there is a monopoly on affordable, pro-woman health care.
    we are in a dire need of collective, feminist health care reform that exists beyond the system. it’s a tremendous amount of work, but news like this only inspires that seed to grow.
    anyone else inspired?

  6. Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, Raznor, a pro-life democrat who refused to vote against the amendment made the difference.
    And this is why I get really angry at people who criticize people for being “one-issue voters” when it comes to voting for pro-choice candidates.

  7. ProFeministMale
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Folks, we really need your help on this. I’ve been making phone calls and talking to people, encouraging them to write letters to the editor and making phone calls to the author of this bill, Ken Cuccinelli of the 37th District.
    It was a 20-20 tie and then lieutenant govenor Bill Bolling broke the vote.
    Here’s the plan: Cuccinelli plans on running for attorney general next year. The message we need to send out is that if the women and men of Virginia cannot count on him to look out for their health as state senator, there’s no way we’ll be considering his candidacy as attorney general.
    I am starting a group down here at Old Dominion University to do a media blitz on this …and would appreciate it if college students from other schools in Virginia do the same. If they threaten Planned Parenthood, we can threaten them back with their political careers.
    This is Cuccinelli’s way of getting back at Governor Kaine for having gotten rid of funds that provided abstinence-only education – and although this is a bad situation, we can still get things under control.

  8. deweyeyed
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Shame on you, Chuck Colgan!

  9. adrienne
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Sticky Betty:
    I don’t think that Planned Parenthood wishes to have a monopoly on women’s reproductive healthcare. However, for more than 90 years PP has been the most trusted provider of and has worked hard to provide affordable and accessible care to all women. Meanwhile, many other medical services do away with or dont’ provide affordable women’s health care. While I do enjoy the idea of a collective feminist health care reform, in the current reality – Planned Parenthood does a pretty good job of navigating the system (I don’t feel that they are the system) to provide healthcare to women.
    I’m sorry that you had a bad expereince with an uneducated NP, your experience should be heard, but it might also not be the expereince of every woman.

  10. dee
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    In case you didn’t know, one of the long term goals of the anti-reproductive ideologues is that family planning services for low income women (which PP now services) be contracted to faith-based organizations. Many contracts for long established NGOs have been replaced by faith-based groups, many with no experience, who are running and providing AIDs and family planning services in third world countries. Imagine an organization offering services to AIDs survivors or sex workers who refuse to hand out condoms. That is exactly the scenario happening now. Once PP is out of the picture who do you think will be providing family planning services for low income American women? Think hard.

  11. phlebotnum
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    “At least here in NoVA (shout out, Fairfax!) they have some sense”
    hdawg, please don’t make the mistake of assuming that Virginians who live south of Warrenton are senseless anti-choicers. I live in central VA and am every bit as disappointed in our legislature as you are, but painting the state as somehow divided between urban/suburban sensible people and “the rest of the state” isn’t going to build any bridges for change. I hope we can find ways to lobby for change without discrediting their own experiences and motivations for choosing elected officials.

  12. GopherII
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    “GopherII: The Supreme Court has held that the state can refuse funds for abortion – remember the Hyde Amendment?”
    Raznor,
    Yeah I knew that(unfortunetly). What I was elaborating on was how fucked that is. Why should a state be able to deprive funds because they perform abortion? How can a small handful of politicians speak over the majority of people in the states people who support choice?If its nationally legal, it should not be inhibited by the state.

  13. Posted February 28, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    adrienne:
    thanks for the retort. i want more dialogue on this, unfortunately this isn’t the place to share my experience effectively.
    i don’t think that it’s PP’s intention to have a monopoly, just a matter of fact that has raised issue with women that seek educated opinions about their health and wellness. instead, what’s being encountered [to whatever degree and for several different reasons] is a sort of yr-in-n-out dishing out of the pill that shows a pretty big disregard for women’s health [i try to avoid being too terribly crass].
    i’d love to talk to you more about this intensely if you’d like. visit me on myspace. anybody else interested in a discussion about this can contact me as well.

  14. meeneecat
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Dee you are exactly right that the ultimate goal is to shift care to these religious organizations with little to no knowledge or experience on providing health services to women. I had mentioned before about the PBS/Frontline documentary “The Last Abortion Clinic” and that they talk about how the comprehensive family planning clinics (ones that offer abortion/contraceptives) are being closed and replaced by “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” run by religious orgs.
    The laws are having a big effect, especially because, without funding many family planning centers are forced to close their doors. As of 2000, 87% of all U.S. counties lacked an abortion provider. Furthermore the number of doctors trained in providing abortions is declining. 57% of all doctors trained in providing abortions are over 50 and fewer and fewer doctors trained in providing abortions are graduating from medical school. In contrast the number of CPC’s (so called crisis pregnancy centers) have been increasing. Today there are nearly 4,000 CPC’s compared to only 2,000 clinics that offer abortion (NAF). CBC’s exist solely to prevent women from getting abortions and having access to contraceptives, yet in many states CPC’s are the ones who receive government funding, while family planning centers are ineligible (because they offer abortion).
    Unfortunately in many states because CPC’s are the ones who are getting the government funding while comprehensive family planning clinics are left without, often the family planning clinics are forced to close their doors. The people who run the CPC’s know this and they continue with their strategies of lobbying legislatures and lawmakers with the goal of forcing as many clinics that offer abortion to close as possible.
    It’s a problem now, but given all these facts, it seems like the problem is only going to get worse with the combination of declining abortion services and doctors that can perform abortions, plus the increase in these religious affiliated fake pregnancy clinics.
    I recommend watching the Frontline documentary (you can see it online) it presents both the anti-abortion view as well as the pro-choice view in a fairly balanced way. One thing that opened my eyes was that in some states the problem has gotten really bad (they mostly talk about the situation in Alabama where there is only one clinic left). You hear anti-abortion people talking about how their ultimate goal is to make getting an abortion impossible. The callousness of these people is what really pissed me off, because the video then switches to the impact this has on mostly poor minority women. Really really sad, horrible, what they are doing, it should be illegal, just because it is so harmful and counterproductive. I don’t want my health care from a religious fanatic who hates women. I want my health care from a doctor that knows about birth control and can perform an abortion if I need one! These people who run the CPC’s don’t care about preventing pregnancies or providing women health care, their only goal is to make getting an abortion harder or impossible. Here’s a link to the documentary in case anyone wants to watch it :http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/clinic/
    Just click over to the right “watch the full program online”.

  15. Mina
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    “In case you didn’t know, one of the long term goals of the anti-reproductive ideologues is that family planning services for low income women (which PP now services) be contracted to faith-based organizations.”
    I’m reminded of when it happens to entire hospitals. A while ago in Massachusetts there was a referendum on whether nonprofit hospitals should be allowed to merge with for-profit entities. At first I thought “no” but then I realized “if a broke hospital can’t merge with a for-profit corp., it may be even more driven to merge witn an anti-choice religious nonprofit”…

  16. yesjess
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    This fight ain’t over yet! Now we push for a line-item veto from Gov. Kaine — Who’s up for a few emails and phone calls to his office? Onward!
    Email him here:
    http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm
    Phone Numbers:
    Phone: (804) 786-2211
    Fax: (804) 371-6351
    TTY/TDD (For the Hearing Impaired):
    1-800-828-1120, or 711
    Mailing address:
    Gov. Tim Kaine
    P.O. Box 1475
    Richmond, Virginia 23218
    Street address:
    Office of the Governor
    Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
    1111 East Broad Street
    Richmond, Virginia 23219

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