According to an editorial in the New York Times, Republicans are staging a war on women’s health that would take away access to affordable contraception and cancer screenings, as well as nutritional support for infants in low income families.
The recent budget bill that passed in the House includes taking away funds from Planned Parenthood and other cuts that will have a negative impact on women.
These cuts include getting rid of support for Title X - the federal family planning program for poor women that gives them birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings and H.I.V. tests. The Times editorial said, “In the absence of Title X’s preventive care, some women would die.” The Guttmacher Institute says that an increase in unintended pregnancies would mean an increase of 400,000 abortions a year.
The House resolution would do away with support for international family planning as well as reproductive health care. The Times goes on to say that it would reinstitute the “gag” rule, which prohibits federal money from groups that mention the word abortion.
Last year, in discussions over the health care bill, Democrats agreed to a provision that would stop insurance companies from offering plans that would cover abortions.
This Republican resolution would put a 10 percent cut on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The program gives care to 9.6 million low-income women, new mothers and babies.
This bill would also eliminate $50 million from the block grant that supports programs providing health care to 2.5 million poor women, and health care to 31 million children every year.
The editorial concludes by saying, “These are treacherous times for women’s reproductive rights and access to health care. House Republicans mistakenly believe they have a mandate to drastically scale back both even as abortion warfare is accelerating in the states. To stop them, President Obama’s firm leadership will be crucial. So will the rising voices of alarmed Americans.”