Monday, June 22, 2015

NYT stands up for poor and rural women

The New York Times published an editorial this morning titled, "Republicans Take Aim at Poor Women."  The editorial addresses the need for good reproductive health care for women--especially poor women and rural women--and how Republican concerns to curb abortion lead to bad political decisions that undermine funding for badly needed programs to support poor women's health and well being.  It begins by pointing out the irony in the current political landscape:  
One would imagine that congressional Republicans, almost all of whom are on record as adamantly opposing abortion, would be eager to fund programs that help reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
 * * *
And yet since they took over the House in 2011, Republicans have been trying to obliterate the highly effective federal family-planning program known as Title X, which gives millions of lower-income and rural women access to contraception, counseling, lifesaving cancer screenings, and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.  
The Times editorial board notes that a House subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services submitted a bill last week that would eliminate all Title X funding, about $300 million.  Among other things, the bill would slash funding for sex education by up to 90%.  You see, Title X is caught up in the abortion wars, the NYT explains, though needlessly so.  Title X grants get used to prevent unwanted pregnancies--more than a million in 2012--"which translates to about 363,000 abortions avoided."

Republicans, whose zeal to cut funding for essential health services seems to know no end--especially when the poor are the beneficiaries of those programs--do not seem to grasp that irony.  The NYT editorial board concludes:
This latest bill aims squarely at one of the nation’s most vulnerable groups — poorer women, many of whom live in rural areas with little access to health care of any kind.

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