COMMENTARY | This week has been one of the most unprecedented in recent memory in what feels like a vicious war against American women. Females in the United States are being used as political pawns in a frightening game that Republicans have decided to play.
On Thursday, according to the Huffington Post, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will cut off all Medicaid funding for family planning to Texas, all thanks to Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
Perry had the bright idea to implement a new law that excludes Planned Parenthood from the state's Medicaid Women's Health Program. Planned Parenthood serves 130,000 women in Texas, providing cancer screenings, contraceptives and basic health care. The law breaks federal Medicaid rules by discriminating against qualified family planning providers and ultimately means the loss of the entire program.
Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations (CMSO), stated in a letter to Texas health officials, "We very much regret the state's decision to implement this rule, which will prevent women enrolled in the program from receiving services from the trusted health care providers they have chosen and relied upon for their care."
Nearly half of the providers in the state of Texas were Planned Parenthood clinics, but Perry's law disqualified Planned Parenthood from participating because some of its clinics provide abortions, even though no state or federal money can be used to pay for those abortions.
Texas is already the state with the highest percentage of residents without health insurance, and without these services available to women, not only will unwanted pregnancies rise, but it's quite possible that the number of females dying due to undiagnosed cancers will also increase.
Earlier this week, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he planned to reduce the debt by "getting rid of Planned Parenthood."
On Monday in Arizona, according to statepress.com, the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed a controversial contraceptive bill that would allow employers to require proof employees were prescribed birth-control pills for reasons other than preventing pregnancy -- and deny coverage for them -- based on religious objections of the employer.
In Oklahoma, a new law will require the details of every abortion to be posted on a public website. Those who fought for this legislation apparently felt it would reduce the number of abortions by shaming and burdening women, including those who were raped or abused.
It's time the women in our country, and the men who care about them, stand up and fight these outrageous attacks. Not only will a lack of affordable birth control lead to many more unwanted pregnancies and large numbers of children who cannot be supported, women will die, and it will be on the shoulders of these extreme right politicians.