Yes, the Republicans are coming for your birth control

Yes, the Republicans are coming for your birth control

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Do you remember the old days of “established law”? Remember when conventional wisdom complacently assured us that if abortion rights were systematically rolled back, there was no way Republicans or the Supreme Court would actually overturn Roe vs. Wade? When we were assured that abortion rights were guaranteed and that it was impossible for the law in America to become so extreme and powerful that it could undo them? We know how it happened.

Well buckle up cause now they coming for birth control just like Judge Clarence Thomas educated in its approval of the decision that invalidated the right to abortion. House Republicans’ funding bill for labor and health and human services departments completely eliminates all clinic funding under the five-decade-old Title X family planning program — the program that provides free, subsidized contraception and health care to millions of low-income Americans.

Title X clinics — think Planned Parenthood — have been in the Republican crosshairs for years in the abortion wars. More recently, in 2019, the Trump administration imposed a gag rule that prohibited doctors in the Title X program from telling people how they could legally and safely access abortions. Planned Parenthood and other clinics withdrew from the program as a result, and according to the Guttmacher Institute, this cut the program’s national family planning network patient capacity in half. President Joe Biden ended that gag rule in his first year in office and the clinics have since rebuilt, which is why Republicans are now stepping up the fight to simply eliminate them altogether.

The clinics still exist and still provide abortions in states where it is still legal, with the essential support of federal funds. It’s not just abortion and birth control services they provide, it’s comprehensive health care: wellness checkups, cancer screenings, education, and STD and HIV testing. A study in 2016 found that 60% of people who received contraceptive care at program clinics used the clinics for primary care. They had not seen another doctor the previous year.

This is another massive attack on people’s health care, but it’s mostly about taking away birth control and taking away the basic right of Americans to plan for their families and their future. It’s not “pro-life” or preventing abortions, it’s about control. The Republicans specify this because, in addition to zeroing out Title X, they also plan to fully fund the teen pregnancy prevention program.

It’s also worth noting that this isn’t coming from the freaks of the Freedom Caucus – it’s the bill from the committee of the whole. It is the official policy of the Republican House, the same Republicans who national security threatened and military readiness on Thursday when they voted almost unanimously to stop allowing service members to travel outside the states where they are stationed to receive reproductive health care.

That’s what they are, and they’re clearly not going to stop at abortion. Not after getting the green light from the Supreme Court to take birth control. We’re in the midst of an all-out assault on reproductive freedom, and the other side is playing in earnest. For the millions of men and women who depend on clinical health care and reproductive freedom, the stakes in 2024 could not be higher.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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