Thursday, January 29, 2009

...and disappointment sets in

When it comes to politicians, I should learn to never get my hopes up. See previous post about the promise of a feminist president and his amazing words about helping to create a healthy America (and world) for women...but it turns out, they are just words and he is still a politician first and a feminist...oh, say tenth or eleventh.

Family planning is not a dirty word! Family planning is something that people of privilege (read: politicians) take completely for granted, but could mean the difference between literally life and death for some. Or the difference between a young woman continuing college instead of embarking into motherhood in her early 20s. It could mean the difference between a high school girl getting a safe abortion instead of giving birth to an unwanted baby at home, alone. It could mean the difference between a family of four ending up on the street because they don't have health care and can't afford their medical bills. Or teens learning the truth about their bodies and their choices for contraception.

It means all these things and so much more, but a chunk of change called, "The Medicaid Family Planning State Option" was cut from the economic stimulus package by Obama's request. The Republicans were calling the money for women's health care and family planning "pork." Nice. And so he caved. And the Democrats caved. So it was cut from the bill and not one Republican voted for it anyway. Great commentary by Ruth Rosen over at Religion Dispatches:
So, poor women who want reproductive health care and contraception are both “pork” and a “distraction.” Is this the change we have dreamed about?

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