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Arizona Takes The Lead In the Slow and Painful Massacre of Women’s Rights
Quantifying evil is dependent on an individual’s ideology and perception of right and wrong, and more likely, their religious inclination plays an important role in what is considered sinful. America is awash in examples of what Jesus would consider evil based on his teachings that caring for the poor and infirm is a requirement for everlasting life. Republicans claim America is a Christian nation, and yet their policies are arguably anti-Christian for denying food and housing assistance for the poor and eliminating healthcare coverage except for those fortunate enough to afford health insurance. In Arizona, Republicans in the state legislature and governor’s mansion have taken their anti-Christian agenda to a new level by denying poor women from receiving preventative healthcare screenings that could save their lives.
On Friday, Governor Jan Brewer signed a law, House Bill 2800, that bans the use of public funds for any organization that provides abortion services. Subsequently, organizations like Planned Parenthood will lose critical funding to provide poor women with cancer screenings, contraception, well-woman examinations, and various other family planning-oriented services under the guise of restricting abortions. First, it is important to note that Arizona, like the federal government, already bans state money from funding abortion services, so the law’s only purpose is restricting poor women from receiving life-saving screenings and contraception. Obviously, the Arizona law is a death sentence for poor women and Planned Parenthood as well as implementing a ban on contraception for low-income women.
Officials of Planned Parenthood of Arizona said the bill targets them and their non-abortion services and noted that less than one in ten women seek abortion services from the organization. The law prevents organizations like Planned Parenthood from seeking reimbursement from the state for services such as cancer screenings, birth control, family planning counseling, and wellness programs for poor women and their children. Governor Jan Brewer signed the law at a political rally hosted by the Susan B. Anthony list that is anti-abortion, and although it was a politically driven signing event, the effects on poor women cannot be overstated.
Anti-abortion advocates cheered the new law, but with their knowledge that no public funds can be used for abortion services, they are really cheering for forced birth and poor women dying of cancer. What is happening in Arizona is not unique, and indeed, in six other states similar laws are on the books and in both houses of Congress Republicans have been waging a fierce battle to defund Planned Parenthood that essentially bans contraceptive use for poor and low-income women as well as restrict their only access to life-saving cancer screenings. The Republican presumptive presidential candidate, Willard Romney, proudly stated that if elected president one of his first tasks is “getting rid of Planned Parenthood” to be followed by repealing the Affordable Care Act that provides millions of women with preventative healthcare, cancer screenings, and contraceptives. Republicans have demonstrated their hatred for women and their healthcare rights for the past year, but these laws are specific in targeting poor women who are fortunate to be able to feed and house their children, much less afford private healthcare insurance to cover cancer screenings and birth control.
What is happening in America is a slow, painful massacre of poor women and it is the epitome of evil and essentially anti-Christian. Supporters of laws like the one in Arizona claim they are fighting constitutionally protected abortions, but with laws restricting federal and state funding for abortions, their claims are as fallacious as their assertions that they are Christians. At the federal level, Republicans claim defunding Planned Parenthood is a budgetary concern to rein in spending and reduce the nation’s deficit, but they have little problem spending on tax cuts for the rich or giving taxpayer dollars to the oil industry. Their true goal is punishing the poor, and using abortion is just a political tactic to garner support from religious fundamentalists who belie their Christianity if they support denying poor women access to healthcare that may save their lives.
One has to wonder what kind of person, organization, or political party would actively support policies that restrict poor women from receiving healthcare assistance or force them to give birth. It is the same type of person who eliminates funding for infant healthcare, children’s food programs, and low-income housing assistance for women who give birth because they are denied contraceptive coverage, and it is the definition of evil. What is astounding is that Republicans know no federal or state funds can be used for abortion services and that Planned Parenthood’s abortion services only comprise 3% of their total services. If, for example, state or federal money did fund abortions, it would make sense to withhold 3% of funds to protest abortions if that was the real issue, but it is clear abortions are not the issue; killing poor women is. In fact, Republicans have shown their goal is to cause a slow death to any American who is not wealthy with truly Draconian cuts to food stamps, housing assistance, and healthcare funding to provide more tax cuts for the wealthy.
It is getting difficult to assume there is some unknown or hidden Republican agenda that drives them to work for a better America. For the past thirty years, they have not passed any laws to help all Americans, but they have been tireless in enriching the wealthy and their corporations at the expense of the masses and especially the poor. It was apparent during the healthcare reform debate that Republicans would take any step to deny 30 to 40 million Americans the right to affordable healthcare, but to deny poor women cancer screenings is beyond despicable, it is pure evil. It is tantamount to a death sentence to deny free or low-cost and certain life-saving screenings for poor men and women, and that it comes by way of legislation borders on state-sponsored homicide.