Why would Congressman Mike Pence suggest it is good public health policy to take birth control away from low-income women in this country? Yet that would be the result of the bill he promoted in last Sunday's Star Press. He wants to ban Planned Parenthood -- the country's leading provider of birth control services -- from the Title X program.
Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. It is designed to provide access to contraceptive services, supplies and information to all who want and need them. By law, priority is given to persons from low-income families. From the program's beginning in 1970, Planned Parenthood, with clinics throughout the country, has been an important part of the program. It's estimated that one out of four American women has visited a Planned Parenthood center for health care at least once in her life. Why would Congressman Pence want to remove this pillar from our country's family planning infrastructure?
He says it's because he wants to ensure that no federal funds are used to subsidize abortion. That assurance is already in the law through the Hyde amendment, which prohibits the use of federal dollars for abortion. Not a dime of Title X funding supports abortion. It is used, rather, to assist low-income persons with the cost of basic reproductive health care -- Pap tests, pregnancy tests, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and birth control.
Her whole premise for this story is wrong. Actually, it's so wrong that there's no way that this is just made a honest mistake. One can only come to the conclusion that, not surprisingly, she is lying in order to promote her own liberal agenda.
Pence is not calling for Planned Parenthood to be "banned" or closed. He's proposing that federal taxpayer money should no longer be given to Planned Parenthood.
Given the dire straights that the government is in, this isn't an outrageous proposal. Cuts need to be made, and this should be an easy cut to make.
Most Americans don't want their money to go to funding abortions and Planned Parenthood, and the women's clinic receives enough money from other sources that they really don't need our tax money to stay afloat. They'll be just fine without it.
Also, she says that the Hyde Amendment already stops Planned Parenthood from directly using federal money for abortions. While this is true, Pence argues that any money given to them does indirectly pay for it. He says that they will use the money that they get from the government for other programs, but in doing so, that will free up money that they have received from other sources that would've paid for those other programs, otherwise, and use it to pay for abortions.
Since Pence is probably running for governor or an outside chance of running for president in 2012, she is might be trying to position herself for a campaign to replace him as Indiana's 6th District representative in the US House. Still, why would she be so blatantly dishonest? That won't make the conservative 6th think highly of her.
Also, it could be that she's trying to protect her former employer. Either way, she needs to stop being so dishonest.
Senator Errington couldn't be reached for comment.