Planned Parenthood Clinic in St. Paul, MN
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue (CC-By-2.0)
Planned Parenthood Clinic in St. Paul, MNPhoto credit: Fibonacci Blue (CC-By-2.0)
Planned Parenthood Clinic in St. Paul, MN
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue (CC-By-2.0)

Another day, another editorial by The Des Moines Register that is barely worth lining bird cages with. They write that if the government is shut down over defunding Planned Parenthood it will naturally be the fault of Republicans.

At midnight Wednesday, the federal government closes the books on the current fiscal year and at 12:01 a.m. a new fiscal year is scheduled to begin. Except that Congress has not passed any appropriations bills for government spending, and some House Republicans aim to block any budget deal without a provision cutting off federal money going to Planned Parenthood.

These Republicans will not succeed in stripping federal money from Planned Parenthood. Even if the House passed such a bill and it somehow survived a filibuster by Democrats in the Senate, it would be vetoed by President Barack Obama. And House Speaker John Boehner’s announced resignation may have cooled the shutdown fever.

Americans can only hope that is true. A government shutdown would have real consequences, just like the 16-day shutdown in 2013 engineered by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that idled 850,000 federal workers and cut off services to millions of Americans and cost the economy billions in lost economic output. According to the Washington Post, 400 national parks would close to the public, mortgage applications would be held up and  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would stop monitoring a spreading flu.

Also, as in 2013, the Republicans would be blamed.

And deservedly so. Cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood would not stop abortions, which by law cannot be paid for with federal tax money. But it would eliminate essential health care for American women, including cancer screenings and family planning services at Planned Parenthood clinics that do not perform abortions.

Oh of course, President Barack Obama who will stubbornly insist that an organization who butchers babies and sells their body parts is somehow entitled to taxpayer money is not to blame at all.  That’s what The Des Moines Register will have you believe. To effectively govern, in the mind of the liberals over at The Des Moines Register, means that you must sacrifice your principles in order to be “effective.”  This evidently only applies to conservatives because liberals sticking to their principles is just fine.

They also keep putting forward this myth that women will be put at risk if Planned Parenthood loses its funding. This is an absolute lie and one that The Des Moines Register keeps perpetuating to their eternal shame (if they had any). I’ve already called them out on this in regards to Louisiana.  Let’s look at our own state.

According to the National Association of Community Health Centers there are 14 federally qualified health care (FQHC) centers operating in 91 service sites serving 179,599 Iowa residents per year.  That is just community health centers.  This doesn’t include pregnancy centers provide prenatal care, ultrasounds and childbirth classes, among other services to women facing unplanned pregnancies, empowering them with life-affirming options. There are 13 Planned Parenthood clinics none of whom provide mammograms.  In contrast there are 30 centers that are members of Free Clinics of Iowa.  You can also check out the website GetYourCare.org to see all of the community health centers currently eligible for federal funds.  Update: Also the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services list 152 rural health clinics in Iowa.

So can we please dispense with the nonsense that this is about women’s health care? Even if Planned Parenthood loses taxpayer funding that doesn’t close their doors necessarily.  No organization is entitled to taxpayer funding, but I can think of plenty of organizations that are more worthy of it.

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