Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
It is a sad day for choice, for women, for men, for human beings as a whole. The house voted 240- 185 for the pence amendment to H.R. 1, stripping Planned Parenthood from federal funds for family planning services, contraception, & HIV & STD screenings and treatments.
Despite the Republican party vowing to fight for Americans to find jobs, and to fix the deficit, they have waged an all out war on abortion and reproductive choice in general. So far, they are succeeding. In most states across the country, you can find legislation banning funding, or making it more difficult to obtain services that in this country technically are legal, and very much needed.
It is already law that Planned Parenthood cannot receive federal funding for abortion services.
However, there was one hero, in a day of horror. In response to Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who spoke out against abortion funding, and went as far as to call it child abuse, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif stood before the house in utter disgust and disbelief, and went on to tell her own story.
"I had planned to speak of something else, but the gentleman from New Jersey has just put my stomach in knots because I'm one of those women he spoke about just now," said Speier. I had a procedure at 17 weeks, pregnant with a child that had moved from the v***** into the cervix. And that procedure that you just talked about was a procedure that I endured. I lost a baby. But for you to stand on this floor and to suggest, as you have, that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous. To think that we are here tonight debating this issue when the American people, if they are listening, are scratching their heads and wondering what does this have to do with me getting a job? What does this have to do with reducing the deficit? And the answer is nothing at all. There is a vendetta against Planned Parenthood, and it was played out in this room tonight. Planned Parenthood has a right to operate. Planned Parenthood has a right to provide services for family planning. Planned Parenthood has a right to offer abortions. Last time you checked abortions were legal in this country. Now you may not like Planned Parenthood, so be it. There's many on our side of the aisle that don't like Halliburton. And Halliburton is responsible for extortion, for bribery, for 10 cases of misconduct in the federal database, for a $7 billion sole-source contract. But do you see us over here filing amendments to wipe out funding for Halliburton? No, because frankly that would be irresponsible. I would suggest to you it would serve us all very well if we moved on with this process and started focusing on creating jobs for the Americans who desperately want them."
In response to the vote, before it comes before the Senate at the end of the month, Planned Parenthood has begun an open letter to congress. The public can add their name to the letter called, I stand with Planned Parenthood. I urge everyone to visit the site and sign the letter. This is not about abortion, it is about healthcare that every human is entitled to.
As for, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif, thank you for telling your story. Thank you for putting yourself out there, and standing up for the rights of all of us. I can honestly say, I had little knowledge of you before this, and now I wish you were a representative of my state.
To sign the Planned Parenthood letter, visit my link below.