Religious House Republicans Plan To Deny Contraception Access to 4.6 Million Women

Close-up of birth control pills in two plastic tablet dispenser cases --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Close-up of birth control pills in two plastic tablet dispenser cases — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

There is something to be said about Republicans and their never-change direction agenda that may be related to their “conservative” affliction. For the past five years one of the primary goals of Republicans they just cannot abandon is fulfilling the demands of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to ban contraception use in America. It was not enough that the Papal-5 on the Supreme Court ruled that religious employers could restrict their employees’ use of birth control, so now Republicans have resorted to their annual attempt to eliminate the Title X program that provides family planning services, including contraceptives, to roughly 4.6 million impoverished women. As usual, since Republicans in the House control the nation’s purse strings, they are using the 2016 budget to eliminate all funding for Title X and finally end the program that has been one of their cherished goals since taking control of the House in 2011.

When the Title X program was created in 1970 under Republican president Richard Nixon, the concept of federally-funded family planning services had overwhelming support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who acknowledged the pressing need to make birth control more accessible to impoverished American women.  Republicans and Democrats both agreed with former president Nixon that being poor should not mean a woman had to be perpetually pregnant. But that was long before Republicans won control of the House in 2010 when, instead of fulfilling their campaign pledge to create jobs, they declared a religious war on women and defunding the federal program became their raison d’être as hardcore theocrats. One of the first items the Republican-controlled House voted on in 2011 was dismantling Title X and they did vote to completely eliminate the then-forty one year old program along strict party lines.

Over the past five years, the evangelical Republican war to abolish the now 45 year old family planning program was successfully thwarted by a Democratic-controlled Senate. However, now with a Koch Senate repaying evangelicals for getting out to vote in 2014, it looks like Republican theocrats will finally do right by the Vatican, eradicate Title X, and deprive at least 4.6  million women from having access to reproductive care including safe, dependable contraceptives, cancer and STD screenings, and assistance in planning when to start their families. It would be the ultimate wet dream for evangelical Republicans and Vatican loyalists to see several million, mostly poor women, denied family planning services and access to contraception; it is just what good evangelical and Catholic Republicans have panted to accomplish for the past five years.

Before 2010, support for Title X had broad bipartisan support and most legislators agreed with then-president Richard Nixon who said on Title X’s inception that, “It is my view that no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.” Of course that was long before Republicans became Vatican puppets and women, although still thought of as second class citizens in 1970, were not yet relegated to the role of being perpetual birth machines by evangelical Republicans.

The proposal from the House Appropriations Committee also reveals the Republican intent to eliminate most of the Affordable Care Act, eliminate as much federal funding from comprehensive sex education and teen pregnancy prevention programs that will increase the number of abortions, and give religious employers much greater power and authority to refuse health insurance coverage that includes reproductive services, including contraception, on evangelical Christian and Vatican loyalty grounds; likely in anticipation of the new and friendlier Pope’s upcoming visit with Congress. The Republican-led committee held a religious hearing on the proposal to end family planning services to 4.6 women on Wednesday; sans Papal attendance.

As reproductive rights advocates and family planning providers have warned for four years, Title X is already suffering from some very serious, and very deliberate, budget shortfalls the advocates assert will have nothing but disastrous consequences for millions of poor families in America, but to no avail. Obviously, disastrous consequences for millions of poor women are precisely what evangelical Republicans and Vatican loyalists have championed over the past six years, and now they see a prime opportunity to do their political worst.

In fact, according to the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Cecile Richards, “This is politics at its worst. Cutting the Title X Family Planning program will leave nearly 4.6 million people without care. If Republican leaders in Congress think they can take away millions of women’s access to health care and shut down programs that are reducing teen pregnancy (and preventing abortions) without one hell of a fight, they have another thing coming.” With all due respect to Ms. Richards, the fight she implies is coming is not just against politicians in Congress. It is against evangelical Republicans, a cabal of religious right clergy, the Vatican, the Supreme Court, religious corporations, and the all-powerful patriarchal United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the group behind the drive to ban contraception use in the United States whether by eliminating Title X or pushing the phony religious liberty ploy to control women that began with Hobby Lobby and continues by denying 4.6 million poor women family planning and contraception access.

Results of research conducted by the Guttmacher Institute reveals that 20 million women, nearly all of them impoverished, in this uber-wealthy nation desperately need access to publicly-funded contraception, but Title X clinics historically have only met barely one third of that need. The situation has been getting even worse in recent years by Republican design. As a result of the Bush-Republican Great Recession, more Americans fell into poverty and Title X’s patient load increased nearly as dramatically as its budget was slashed by the same Republicans responsible for the recession. Now, just as the unmet need for affordable birth control has increased substantially, some of the poorest women in the country face being restricted from getting the desperately-needed access to the family planning services they need; again, it is all by the Republicans’ theocratic design.

There is no other reason for Republicans to try defunding Title X than denying family planning services and contraception from women. It certainly is not a budget, debt, deficit, or fiscal responsibility issue or Republicans would not propose hundreds-of-billions of dollars in tax cuts for the rich, spend well over half the entire nation’s budget on war when the country is not at war, or continue giving unfunded and unnecessary subsidies to the oil, pharmaceutical, agriculture, or church industries if their issue with Title X was about economics. No, this is about religion, specifically the religions, evangelical Christians and Vatican, that believe every woman in America should be like Michelle Duggar and stay perpetually in birthing mode. Still, although there is an outcry at the idea of eliminating Title X, no-one is willing to cite the real source of this hateful war against women’s access to reproductive health care and particularly contraception. Although the war is being waged by Republican legislators, they are driven by religion and it is high time family planning advocates start admitting that the real problem is evangelicals and Catholic ideology getting nearer to their goal of banning contraception.

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31 Replies to “Religious House Republicans Plan To Deny Contraception Access to 4.6 Million Women”

  1. The GOP, trying to keep women pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen, where they can then berate them for doing so.

    How dare they engage in sex- when so many Goppers can’t.

  2. So then what? No contraception and no abortion clinics means millions of babies who need food, clothes, shelter, diapers…and the GOP wants to take away any chance of these people having insurance to boot..so no vaccinations, no well baby checks, no early intervention for kids who are behind. In 20 years, we’ll have millions of young adults unable to work, unable to read…what is the matter with the GOP? How cruel and stupid can they get? They cut education funding, cut special ed funding, cut services to families in need..and what? Who is going to cover the gap, GOP? The churches? Churches are not equipped to be doctors and nurses. I am stunned at the asinine ideas coming out of these people. We need MORE clinics, more access to contraception. If they truly wanted to end abortion, they would support sex ed, easy access to contraception, etc. But this is all about control. They hate women so much that they will subject millions to abject poverty, death by childbirth. Pitiful.

  3. In 20 years, we’ll have millions of young adults unable to work, unable to read…

    Aka, millions of potential Republican voters.

  4. Water wars have already began. Look at Colorado, they’ve made it illegal to catch rain water!!! When starvation and disease kill about 50% of people, maybe things will be different.
    Population increase and depleting natural resources…..what could go wrong? They are literally killing us…..

  5. “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.
    …..
    The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom…. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are?… I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.”

    – Barry Goldwater, (1909–1998), five-term US Senator, Republican Party nominee for President in 1964*, Maj. Gen., US Air Force Reserves, au…

  6. Dammit! Leave my Republican saviors alone! enough already! Dj, Godda….Sorry folks, sometimes I have these mind blowing events that I can’t control. My bad. Must be this Muskogee conservitis disease.[wink]

  7. And, if Jeb gets to be Prez then legislation can be put forth for him to sign into law that make shamming females legal.

  8. It seems to me these self-righteous men want to control women’s ability to conceive. It takes two if I remember correctly. So I ask just what are these men, going to do about all the randy men, walking around because of Viagra,(Or other drugs) perhaps pass a law that demands their zippers stay zipped?

  9. The last paragraph of the story says what these scumbags are all about.

    Butt, the scumbags are more than merely duplicitous.

    Do priests and other pervs hiding behind the pulpit wear condoms when they’re RAPING altarboys and other children?

    These repigliscum don’t realize that, if there were no abortions, there would be no gop.

    On a serious note;

    What do these lying idiots actually think will result from all this if they can get it passed?
    Do they have any capacity to think it through and see that this will not merely cause serious disasters among the poorer Americans, it will be a financial disaster for the entire country.

    Are these koch sucking bastards actually knowingly trying to do that for the benefit of their owners?

    Do not shirk your responsibility at your polling place.
    Not shirking that responsibility includes giving your neighbor a ride to the polling place.

  10. …once again the Teahadists prove they worship Mammon, not God…
    …they pull this “Embryos are sacred,live babies are on thier own.” bit outta thier arses, but thier beloved Old Testament says the child lives when the breath of Life enters thier lungs…
    …we gotta mobilize all Democratic voters,or the USA is finished…

  11. “Love the fetus, hate the child.” I wish I could remember who said that. It’s a perfectly succinct summation of the Republican agenda. It’s bumper sticker worthy. Old tired guy hit the nail on the head. Just think of all the people competing for the same crappy job. And don’t forget the job opportunities one can look forward to in prison as more and more corps take advantage of our broken, for profit prison system. Bernie 2016

  12. Conservatives have so politicized the Religious Right that supposedly evangelicals have lost any sense of spirituality. The political ideology of conservatives and the Religious Right is nearly identical to that of radical Islam.

    Has the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrated conservatives political organizations and have they infiltrated Religious Right organizations? They are picking and choosing Old Testament bible verses that are more in line with the Koran.

    Religious Freedom restoration laws are designed to religious beliefs in place of constitutional law. It sounds like Islam all over again.

  13. I wonder how many of those voting in favor of something like this have stock and are on boards of condom company’s. (no snark)

  14. BRING BACK THE COAT HANGER ABORTION

    Seriously, in the 1950’s when I was in High School and College, long before Roe vs. Wade, many girls were either killed or ruined for life by botched hanger abortions. Tain’t funny McGee.

    My undergraduate degree is in economics. So I know about Thomas Malthus. Malthus was wrong in 1798 when he made his population brings starvation prediction. At that time the world’s population was approaching 1 Billion. (The US Census estimates the world’s population reached 1 Billion in 1804.) Today’s world population is 7.23 billion and counting.

    So what happened to the population bomb? Answer is from Colin Clark, Australian economist and demographer. What Clark said is population growth does not matter as long as GDP and agriculture technology grow faster. Both most certainly have.

  15. TRY 2
    SOLUTION: BRING BACK THE COAT HANGER ABORTION

    Seriously, in the 1950’s when I was in High School and College, long before Roe vs. Wade, many girls were either killed or ruined for life by botched hanger abortions. Tain’t funny McGee.

    My undergraduate degree is in economics. So I know about Thomas Malthus. Malthus was wrong in 1798 when he made his population brings starvation prediction. At that time the world’s population was approaching 1 Billion. (The US Census estimates the world’s population reached 1 Billion in 1804.) Today’s world population is 7.23 billion and counting.

    So what happened to the population bomb? Answer is from Colin Clark, Australian economist and demographer. Clark said population growth does not matter as long as GDP and agriculture technology grow faster. Both most certainly have.

  16. “religious employers”, “religious corporations”; – what is that?
    Didn’t somebody throw merchants out of the temple?
    When I was in business, we bought for X and sold for Y and pocketed the profit. There is nothing “Godly” about that process.

  17. The Catholic Church says sex is only for procreation and for any other reason then you’re no better someone at an anything goes orgy.

  18. Republicans are not pro life. They are only pro birth. They want nothing to do with an unwanted child after it arrives.

  19. Moongrim..you are right..but add WHITE voters. No abortions, no birth control, the white tea party population with burst with uneducated young’ins..raised to be racist, lazy, and stupid. That is what the GOP wants by banning birth control and abortions…MORE WHITES.

  20. These are not “religious” house republicans, but ir-religious…

    Some great reads:
    “Conservatives Without Conscience” by John W. Dean;

    “The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution” by David O. Stewart;

    “Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right” by Claire Conner;

    “A New Religious America: How a ‘Christian Country’ Has Become the World’s Most Religiously Diverse Nation.” (by Diana Eck, 1997);

    Bob Altemeyer’s book: The Authoritarians.

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