Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hey Hey! Ho Ho! We Want Access to Birth Control!

Last week, Congressman Pence (of low common sense) introduced an amendment to the Labor-HSS bill that would exclude Planned Parenthood from receiving any Title X funds.

Jargon explanation:
  • The Title X program provides funds for family planning services for low income women.
  • Planned Parenthood provides family planning to low income women.
  • Of the 5 million women who receive Title X funded services, 3 million of those patient visits are provided by Planned Parenthood.
  • Planned Parenthood also provides primary health care, including cancer screening, to underserved women.
  • For many low income women Planned Parenthood is their ONLY source of health care.
  • Title X funds are never used to provide abortion services.

The amendment was defeated, by what is considered a large majority: 231-189.

189 legislators voted for this amendment???

89% of Americans support increased access to birth control....but...what? They forgot to tell their legislators? Or maybe their legislators forgot to ask? I mean, eeuuw, you'd have to mention sex!


And in a twilight zone of coincidence, Pence introduced his amendment while 200 or more Planned Parenthood employees were gathered in DC for a conference.

This crappy camera phone picture shows a group of Planned Parenthood supporters shouting for (gasp) access to birth control, while congress debated the amendment inside the building across the street. Notice the PT Cruiser passing by with the 2 1/2 foot high JESUS letters on the side.

The driver of the JESUS car was not an anti-choice counter-protester; he was just passing by, handing out t-shirts that said "JESUS" in modest 10 inch high letters.

One of the protestors took a t-shirt and put it on. She said, “What would Jesus do? He’d be out here with us!” From what I’ve heard about Him, she’s probably right about that!

“Hey hey, ho ho. ‘He’ wants access to birth control!”


And to further 'fess up, ... I was in DC when all this took place, and was headed out to meet BAC for a friendly blogger dinner as the protesters started organizing. I called BAC, and we decided to protest first, eat later.

The police came by and watched us, and I thought, “Oh, how nice. They’re here to protect us from anti-choice crazies.” But no, they were there to tell us to leave; we didn’t have a permit, so we couldn’t stand there in a group.

Seasoned protester that she is, BAC warned me that it used to be that the police would warn you several times before arresting you, but these days they often arrest people after only one warning. I asked what happens if you get arrested. She described a two hour process of getting taken to Anacosta, booked, and released after paying $50. We both agreed we could take that chance, and we did.

I must say, I was kind of disappointed, though, because we did not get arrested. How I'd love to come home and tell my friends and neighbors, "I got arrested for defending access to birth control."


BAC said...

Hey ... I'd go to jail with you anytime! It was great seeing you.


TheCunningRunt said...

Proud to say I know you, woman! We all need to take more chances in defense of What's Friggin' Right.

Thanks for hangin' in there. And if you do get fined for standing up for my rights (well, for my daughters' rights in this case) be sure to let me know how to contribute to the Beautiful Day Fund.

'Cause, you know, I'm Sparticus!

Tengrain said...

BAC is the best, huh? She is like the 6 degrees of separation for so many of us!