Last week a group of Republican lawmakers ordered the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to once again audit the family planning and womens health group Planned Parenthood and its subsidiaries.
Though a government accountability probe of this sort was already carried out in 2010, Republicans in the House and Senate feel the GAO report did not support the GOPs widespread belief that the government is effectively funding abortions.
In 1976, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment that disallowed Medicaid funding to be used for abortions. That law has not been changed and Planned Parenthood has not deviated from it. Republicans attacking Planned Parenthood completely undermines the services that it provides to women besides abortions, mostly to those that are underprivileged. It undermines Planned Parenthoods determination to HIV and STD prevention, access to birth control and family planning services, breast cancer awareness and screenings and pre- and post-natal care. Planned Parenthood also offers services for men such as colon, prostate, and testicular cancer screenings, vasectomy, and general health care screenings.
Demanding an investigation of Planned Parenthood perpetuates the notion that Republican lawmakers are off-base when it comes to social issues something that became abundantly clear in the last election.
This unwarranted probe of one of the only organizations that offers reliable family planning and reproductive health services brings up a couple of things that are wrong with conservative Republicans. When it comes to the issue of abortion and birth control, Republican conservatives tend to spin facts and validity in order to push a religious pro-life ideology that not all Americans subscribe to.
Republicans in Congress have a severe infatuation with condemning any sort contraception and any pro-choice organization for little to no reason. What this infatuation turns into is an almost misogynistic war on women that completely disenfranchises womens rights to make their own health decisions.
On MSNBCs Melissa Harris-Perry show, the editor of Feministe, Jill Fillipovic, said, A viewpoint that says, women deserve full freedom to break free from gender roles, to do whatever we want to do with our lives and our bodies is in direct conflict with the conservative world view.
That sentiment is at the heart of the entire debate.
Conservatives in power feel there is a necessity to enact legislation and force government oversight when it is not necessary at all.
From Todd Akin to Richard Mourdock, the disconnect between conservatives and womens rights is obvious.
It is ironic that the party whose goal is to limit the governments power is fighting to allow the government the right to tell women what they can and cannot do.
Republicans need to end the petty battle against Planned Parenthood. The organization does not use taxpayer money to fund abortions and they have made it clear in the last run of disrespectful, wasteful and unnecessary audits.