Thursday, February 09, 2012
The Right Wing's Prescription for Women
Planned Parenthood has been a target of the right wing for years. The current congress has gone to great lengths to demonize the private non-profit agency which provides millions of women, poor and otherwise, with health services including contraception and abortion. For all the insistence on the part of the rightwingers that the issue is preventing government-funding of abortion, the facts show that this is a smokescreen. There's a pie-chart floating around that clearly shows that abortions represent a small portion of Planned Parenthood's services. Given the legal hostility from many Republican and Democratic congresspeople in recent years, Planned Parenthood has worked very hard to follow the letter of the law and isolate the federal funding it gets from those abortion services. But it's futile to present either of these facts to the foes of Planned Parenthood, because the truth is that abortion is only the tip of the iceberg of their objections.
The rightwingers claim they are waging a battle based on moral and religious opposition to abortion based on the "sanctity of life." But what is actually quite clear is that these right wingers are actually waging a battle against something much bigger. And this is revealed by the current controversy over the initial Obama administration insistence that healthcare reform means that religious employers must include access to contraception in the insurance plans they offer to non-clerical employees like the teaching and medical professionals who work for churches and hospitals run by religious institutions. While it seems tragically likely that the Obama administration will concede this argument, the current controversy forces the right wing to admit that contraception itself is their actual problem, even knowing that contraception is a proven abortion preventative. Yes, that's right, the right wing does not want women to have access to the means to control their own bodies.
The right wing wants to defund Planned Parenthood not out of concern for some moral abstraction, but because it wants to preserve the dependency of women, especially poor and working-class women. The Sarah Palins and Michel Bachmanns of the far-right fringe notwithstanding, independent women who are not dependent on men are societal threat to the way the far right wants the world to look. And more fundamentally working-class women who rely on the affordability that government-funded healthcare provides are to them simply expendable.
The recent flap over the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure's shameful temporary plan to withdraw financial support of Planned Parenthood is illustrative. The Komen Foundation is less an institution concerned with women's health than a money-making scheme, a front for fake concern about the inadequate funding of women's healthcare. Forget how an organization allegedly concerned about women's health could sponsor pink buckets of the Colonel's greasy chicken, how could an organization allegedly concerned about women's health, full of smart people who know every last detail of those financial distribution pie-charts, claim that pulling the plug on poor women getting breast screenings could have anything to do with abortion at all? Who actually believes that? Only right wing ideologues with an agenda, that's who.
Here's the truth: This is yet another front on the class war being waged by the privileged classes on regular people. They don't want to pay for abortion, for contraception, for breast screenings, because they don't want to fucking pay for anyone's healthcare at all. Well, except their own.
Funny, it always comes down to the same problem....and the same solution.