Last week’s threat of a federal government shutdown had this country in a tizzy over political gamesmanship. Which benefits would be cut? Federal funds for women’s healthcare, including abortions? Would military families endure missing paychecks and delayed life insurance payments for loved ones killed in action? A last-minute ‘compromise’ meant that one of these happened.
But who was targeted? Women.
What did the budget ‘compromise’ achieve? A heavy-handed attack against D.C.’s women by virtually eliminating federal abortion funding for District residents, nearly 63% of whom are Black or Hispanic, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. The deal also resulted in a guaranteed Senate vote on whether or not to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
House Majority Leader Rep. John Boehner (OH – R.) is likely to receive a truckload of women’s undies on Capitol Hill for his repeated calls to cut federal abortion funding. A Facebook group campaign is asking women to mail a million panties to John Boehner. In a of tri-partisan support, men could send their tighty-whities and boxers to Boehner, while truly minor minors (i.e., future voters) can have a little help sending diapers to Boehner.
What is it about the GOP and women’s health? They sought to cut $317 million in funding for Planned Parenthood, and turn federal allocations for women’s health and family planning into block grants to states. According to Planned Parenthood, Republican lawmakers’ attempts were far-reaching. Not only did they try to cut abortion-related funding, but their proposed cuts would have also eliminated financial assistance for Pap smears, breast exams, and birth control.
Our lawmakers’ shutdown threat may be short-lived, however. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Rep. Boehner stated that the short-term budget cutting will last only until Thursday.
Americans and their lawmakers in Congress would do well to remember: the Statue of Liberty is a woman, and Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land.