Assaults on Planned Parenthood, Abortion and Birth Control Rights Rage On

Photo of Cliff Stearns

via stearns.house.gov

Pink is the new Red
Cliff Stearns (R-Fl) continues to utilize a strategy of false accusations of fraud in order to attack Planned Parenthood through a Congressional investigation. The pretense of the investigation is the unfounded claim that Planned Parenthood has committed fraud of sorts by using federal dollars for abortion. This investigation has nothing to do with Planned Parenthood’s alleged fraud, and everything to do with the fraud who is launching an ideological witch-hunt. (The double entendre in the use of the word “witch-hunt” should be plain, but I feel like pointing it out.)

According to Wikipedia’s entry on Stearns,

In September 2011, Stearns used his position as chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee to launch an audit of Planned Parenthood, questioning how the organization separates its federal funding so as not to pay for abortion, which is forbidden by federal law. Abortion makes up 3% of all Planned Parenthood services. The investigation was sweeping, requesting internal audits dating back 12 years and state audits for the past 20 years for the national organization and all 83 of its affiliates. Rep. Henry Waxman questioned the political motivations for the timing of the investigation, saying, “Your fervent ideological opposition to Planned Parenthood does not justify launching this intrusive investigation.”

In response to the investigation, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America has said,

Planned Parenthood is a trusted nonprofit health care provider that provides professional, reliable and quality health care, including birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, annual exams, and STD testing and treatment to three million women and men across the country. This politically motivated investigation is a continuation of the efforts of earlier this year to undermine Planned Parenthood, and more disturbingly, women’s access to the primary and preventive care they need.

I’m working on launching a campaign to involve the atheist/skeptic/freethought communities, and any other persons or organizations who want to be involved, in a counteroffensive against the religiously-motivated compulsion to destroy women’s health clinics and punish half the U.S. population for feeling pleasure, for being independent and basically for being female. It is tentatively titled, “Godless Folk for Reproductive Freedoms.” The goal is to launch a viral, self-organizing and leaderless campaign that brings attention to religious, autocratic suppression of reproductive rights in the U.S., and also serves a practical purpose of combating anti-abortion activists on their own turf. It’s time these authoritarians be met on their own ground, much the same way they find their way into our lives and our homes and our clinics and our bodies. They feel safe making other people feel unsafe. Let’s turn that around.

The same lunatics who are attacking abortion rights are coordinating a massive effort to outlaw birth control in the U.S. So if you think this issue doesn’t effect you, for whatever reasons–you’re wrong. We all have a stake in abolishing gender hierarchy. As I wrote in the post Letter from an Abortion Clinic Escort, there have been over 1,000 anti-abortion measures introduced in 49 states this year. (Forget about that whole economy thing. Conservatives have more pressing matters!) We are in the middle of an all-out assault on the reproductive freedoms of United States citizens. Imposing the criminalization of women’s reproductive choices, and revoking the sovereignty of human beings over their bodies, is only the beginning. Every little “victory” encourages them, makes them grow stronger. They will want more, and they will come for your other rights next. Count on it.

I’ve begun writing a mission statement, outlining organizational principles and have other stuff in the works, but I need your input. To get involved with the Godless Folk for Reproductive Freedoms project, write to me at resistingthemilieu@gmail.com. There are all kinds of ways to get involved, and with the project I have in mind everything is on the table.

I will be writing furiously on this topic as the “investigation” continues, but until then here are some articles on the issue:

From Planned Parenthood:
Planned Parenthood: Rep. Stearns’ Politically Motivated Investigation Is Latest Attempt to Undermine Health Care Millions Count On
Statement of Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, On Politically Motivated Attack Against Planned Parenthood Affiliates Nationwide

From the Colorado Independent:
Ending abortion is the goal of those pushing Planned Parenthood investigation

From the Washington Independent:
Wasserman Schultz condemns ‘unprecedented, invasive’ Planned Parenthood investigation

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