Kristen Schaal: Does completely defunding Planned Parenthood go far enough?

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You've probably heard that last week Republicans introduced a bill to cut the Federal budget and reduce the deficit. The proposal drastically cut or completely eliminated funding for many important government social-services programs. The most egregious cut contained in the bill, in my opinion, was the cut to women's healthcare provider Planned Parenthood. The proposal would completely eliminate all Federal funding to the organization.

On last night's episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart and Kristen Schaal discussed the cuts. The Federal funding currently allotted to Planned Parenthood does not actually go towards funding abortion — The Hyde Amendment made that illegal — but instead goes towards education efforts, subsidizing gynecological exams, STD testing, cervical-cancer screenings, providing contraception, etc. But because Planned Parenthood is not anti-choice, and will perform abortions (without the aid of Federal funds) or provide women with recommendations on clinics where they can obtain abortions, the GOP seeks to eliminate their funding.

Kristen Schaal made the satirical argument that, really, any government funding could somehow end up funding an abortion and offered an array of other federal programs she would cut to insure no woman ever received abortion services with her tax dollars. And she makes a good point. There is an important difference between funding abortions and funding a health clinic that specializes in women's sexual health. Planned Parenthood gives women choices, and, to the dismay of many Republicans, we women still have a choice.

It's unconscionable to eliminate funding specifically for women's healthcare, for services that educate the community and often prevent unwanted pregnancy. If you disagree with the budget cuts to Planned Parenthood, you can sign this petition to U.S. Senators to voice your dissent.