Monday, August 7, 2017

the War on Birth Control

спасибо, аист, спасибо, птицаIf all goes as expected, the Senate will soon take another crack at "repealing and replacing" the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. But unless something unexpected happens, the Senate leadership will fail once again to garner the necessary votes. That defeat, if it occurs, will be an important victory for reproductive health advocates, as millions of women would end up paying more for contraceptive services under the Senate bill.

But whatever happens in the Senate, the war on birth control is far from over. On the other side of the Capitol, a House Appropriations subcommittee is working hard to limit access to contraceptives. And, this time around, chances of success are higher. What birth control opponents failed to do by failing to repeal Obamacare, they may yet succeed in doing through the appropriations process.

From a reproductive health standpoint, the Trump administration's proposed budget was an unequivocal disaster, but the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bills now starting to work their way through the House are not much better, and with respect to one program, Title X, the House position, at present, is a whole lot worse.

The Trump administration's proposed budget would: 1) deny any federal funding to Planned Parenthood for any contraception – or other preventive healthcare services – they might provide to women; 2) eliminate funding for comprehensive sex education curricula that discuss contraceptive options; and 3) eliminate all funding for international family planning assistance. The administration's proposed budget, however, stopped short of defunding Title X.

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