It doesn’t take much imagination to guess how Nevada’s Republican Representatives in Congress voted on H.R. 3134, the bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Yes, they all voted in favor of the resolution. [LTN] This would primarily impact three centers in the Las Vegas metropolitan area (2), and one in Reno. Let’s be clear about what the Nevada Republicans wanted to “de-fund.” Those public funds come from two programs. Medicaid, a health care program for lower-income Americans, and Title X, a federal family planning program which also serves lower-income individuals constitute most of the funding appropriated, with Medicaid getting the largest portion. What is almost beyond understanding is why the resolution was necessary – other than as a vehicle for political grandstanding:
“The 1977 Hyde Amendment dictated that federal Medicaid funds could only be used to fund abortions in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother. However, some states have expanded cases in which they will provide funds. Currently, 17 states allow funds to be used for “medically necessary” abortions. In those cases that these states count as medically necessary but that are not permitted by the federal guidelines, states cover the cost alone.” [KNPR]
Thus, in essence, what the Republican contingent from Nevada is saying is that they do not wish to adhere to the Hyde Amendment, and instead wish to deny Medicaid funding for abortions resulting from rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother. If this isn’t a radical position it would be hard to imagine what might be.
We could go a step further and say that what the Nevada Republicans are saying is that a wealthy woman who would obviously not qualify for Medicaid is perfectly free to have any medical procedure she can afford – BUT lower-income women who depend on the services of clinics such as those established by Planned Parenthood have NO options in cases of rape, incest, or the need to protect the very life of the mother. Again, if this isn’t elitist, it’s hard to imagine what would be.
Another element which makes this entire issue devolve into the inane is that there are, in fact, sliding scale payment and free clinics in Nevada which offer some family planning and medical services. In the Reno area there are about ten such clinics, but only one which provides “abortion referrals.” That would be the Planned Parenthood clinic. Of the 29 free or reduced cost clinics in the Clark County area only two advertise either abortion services or abortion referrals. Planned Parenthood. One advertises post abortion services, and other referrals. However, if one is a radical advocate for forced birth, then defunding the only abortion procedure providers would be a desirable thing?
For those who believe that abortions should be “safe, legal, and rare” the notion that de-funding will be some kind of blessing is illogical, irrational, and perhaps even deadly.
Nevada’s Republican Representatives, no matter the political spin they may attempt to apply, have aligned themselves with the Forced Birth radicals, and in doing so have decided that low-income women should be forced to carry pregnancies to term even if they are (1) the result of rape; (2) incest; (3) or are perilous to the life of the mother.