When it comes to flat-out ignorance, Senator Liddy Dole takes the cake. Though she appears unable to hold a coherent thought together for more than a nanosecond, that hasn't detracted from her ability to regurgitate extremist talking points. Her latest offense, reported Under the Dome today is an act of supreme dishonesty that should leave everyone in North Carolina wondering if the sad old Senator has finally lost her marbles.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole has called on Congress to stop funding for Planned Parenthood because the non-profit organization provides abortions. Dole, a Salisbury Republican seeking re-election next year, joined 12 other Republicans in signing a letter to Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations, and Rep. David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, reports Barb Barrett.
The group of senators asks the appropriations committees to suspend all federal funding for “organizations that promote abortion.” The signers say Planned Parenthood Federation of America receives $300 million a year from the federal government.
I am intimately familiar with Planned Parenthood and I can tell you without hesitation that the organization in no way promotes abortion. Indeed, Planned Parenthood may well be the most effective organization in the world for preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place. More to the point, not a single penny of the dollars that flow to Planned Parenthood from the federal government have anything to do with abortion whatsoever.
By law, no Title X funds have ever been spent on abortion (Sollom et al., 1996). The family planning regulations require that women who face unintended pregnancies be given nondirective counseling on all of their legal and medical options (Federal Register, 2000).
In 2004, approximately 4.8 million women received health care services at family planning clinics funded by America's family planning program. They are predominantly young, poor, uninsured, and have never had a child. Seventy-three percent of women using Title X-funded clinics are 20 or older, and 64 percent are white. Sixty-eight percent have incomes at or below the federal poverty level (AGI, 2005a). It is estimated that these clinics are the only source of family planning services for more than 80 percent of the women they serve (Kaeser et al., 1996).
According to regulations, the amount a woman pays for family planning services at a Title X-funded clinic depends upon her income. If her income is at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level, the services are completely subsidized. A woman will be charged on a sliding fee scale if her income is between 100-250 percent of poverty level, and she will pay full fees if her income is above 250 percent of poverty level (Kaeser et al., 1996).
Title X clinics are required by law to encourage minors to involve their parents in their decision-making regarding family planning (P.L. 108-447, 2005).
By providing access to contraceptive methods and counseling on how to use them effectively, family planning clinics — many of which receive funding through Title X — have been shown to reduce large numbers of unintended pregnancies, abortions, and births.
Each public dollar spent to provide family planning services saves an estimated $3.00 that would otherwise be spent in Medicaid costs for pregnancy-related care and medical care for newborns (Forrest & Samara, 1996). A study that measured the cost of contraceptive methods compared to the cost of unintended pregnancies when no contraception was used found the total savings to the health care system to fall between $9,000 and $14,000 per woman over five years of contraceptive use (Trussell et al., 1995).
Title X has made a tremendous impact in the lives of millions of women. Over the last two decades, services provided at Title X-funded clinics prevented 20 million unintended pregnancies and nine million abortions - and helped to prevent 5.5 million adolescent pregnancies. Without Title X, there would have been 20 percent more teen pregnancies during this time period.
In spite of its proven track record as a cost-effective program for preventing unintended pregnancies, preventing abortion, and improving the health of women, Title X faces these kinds of bullshit threats from hypocrites like Elizabeth Dole year after year after year. You'd think after all her time in the Senate, she would have learned to read and listen.
Note to Senator Elizabeth Dole:
This is the first of many official invitations for you to come to BlueNC. We want to understand why you are advocating more teen pregnancy. I'll follow-up with a phone call and an email to your office. In fact, I will do that every day for the rest of your short tenure in the Senate. We're looking forward to hearing your explanation. And just think, with the interTubes, you don't even have to come to North Carolina to join us.