Pro-Choice Catholic Group Makes Case to Congress for Protecting Planned Parenthood
With the debate over Planned Parenthood heating up, liberal Catholics are on the defensive again, scrambling to protect Planned Parenthood and its vital services from the GOP outrage machine. Leading the charge is a group of 60 Catholic State leaders from over 25 states, "Catholics for Choice", which is taking out a full-page ad in The Washington Post today to make the social justice case for Planned Parenthood. Not only, do they note, is the latest attack on Planned Parenthood an attack on women, it's an attack on the poor and vulnerable:
Where a mother in Chicago works extra shifts to pay for groceries, but can’t afford contraception. Where a woman in the Appalachian hills takes several buses to a clinic, only to be told she cannot have her procedure and must come back. Where a woman in Tupelo with a family history of cervical cancer can’t go to a reliable health center for yearly Pap smears. Where a boy in Utica isn’t offered sex education at his school and cannot turn to a quality health care provider for information or services when he contracts an STI.
Defunding Planned Parenthood would give the least among us even less.
A recent undercover - and entirely manipulated - video released by anti-choice advocates supposedly showing Planned Parenthood officials "selling body parts" (they're not) has Congressional Republicans entertaining creative ways of cutting off Planned Parenthood's $500 million in federal funds. Even though the Hyde Amendment already bans federal funds for abortion services this hasn't stop GOP leaders like Jon Cornyn from outright lying and saying otherwise. Several leading Presidential candidates like Ted Cruz have even threatened a government "shutdown" to cut off Planned Parenthood's budget.
Though the numbers vary from country to country, the majority of Catholics throughout the world support birth control and abortions rights. American Catholics, however, tend to be more conservative than their non-American counterparts.
Planned Parenthood disproportionately serves poor communities and communities of color - offering services such as cancer screenings, medical check-ups, and birth control services. According to The Washington Post, in two-thirds of the 491 counties with a planned parenthood locations, their clinics serves at least half of all American women who receive birth control from safety-net clinics. This means Planned Parenthood is more often than not the last resort for women with limited options and even more limited means. In other words, the very people Catholics should be serving rather than hurting.
You can read Catholics for Choice's entire ad here.