It seems that anti-family planning extremists, folks who are actively working to stop women’s
access to contraception, don’t do well with common sense approaches.
Perhaps that’s because even though they say they care about women,
their true goal is turning back the clock to days gone by when people had
fewer choices about how to live their lives and, they say, everything was right
with the world.
In reality, these folks those same
old men who know that things
were good for them in the old days when they didn’t have to worry about
meddlesome women or black people running the country because everyone
knew his or her place. I know it may seem a little alarmist to talk
like this, but it’s true.
Here’s evidence: the Family Research Council, the organization
that has been spearheading the call to cripple Title X, our nation’s
only dedicated funding stream for family planning, hosted a panel discussion just this past
Monday, after a screening of the film "Demographic Winter." You can see video of the discussion on their site. And here
they are, a group of old white men decrying the declining fertility
rate in the Western world. They complain that folks have lost
focus and that women don’t care about families and see babies as "burdens
instead of blessings." Of course there is little discussion
of how to be prepared to have children, about how to best be able to
provide these blessings with all that they may need. They also
correlate providing increased social benefits with a declining fertility
rate, advocating for a decrease in funding for "welfare programs."
Whaaa?? How do you plan to feed these babies? My favorite part of this discussion is the speaker who argues that mandated education programs have contributed to this declining
fertility rate. You can see him itching to start a conversation about
how we should dismantle public schools.
These folks are not fooling anyone.
These attacks to limit access to counseling, education, contraception
and preventive health services are couched in the fact that they want
life to be how it once was — when they controlled everything. They don’t care that the current rules and regulations of Title X are well thought
out and compliant with widely accepted clinical guidelines. Even though family planning service providers have never
been able to provide abortion care with federal funds, have been consistently
audited for potential violations of this provision but have never been
cited for violating it, anti-family planning extremists keep calling
for even more restrictions on this successful, important, and severely
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We cannot afford to ignore those
who are adamantly anti-family planning. They are against access
to reproductive health care for those who need it most, the low-income
and uninsured. Most of the people who receive services through
Title X are between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine. The extremists
endeavor to limit our lives to fit into their narrow world view of how
to live, and we can’t stand by while they use their political influence
to limit our choices. Take a moment, write to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, write to your legislator and tell your friends
and family how these people really think. It is our responsibility
to push Members of Congress to respond aggressively to politically connected
folks like the FRC before they once again succeed in instituting out-dated
regulations that restrict our freedoms.
- Marilyn Keefe, Domestic Gag Rule? Deja Vu All Over Again