Governor Mitch Daniels released a statement today saying that he plans to sign legislation stripping federal funds from Indiana Planned Parenthoods.
“I will sign HEA 1210 when it reaches my desk a week or so from now. I supported this bill from the outset, and the recent addition of language guarding against the spending of tax dollars to support abortions creates no reason to alter my position. “
First of all, this is kind of illegal. I say “kind of” because there’s been some discussion that if he outright rejects the funds that would go to PP rather than, say, diverting funds to more conservative friendly groups, it would technically be legal. If he gives those funds to other groups, then he’s definitely going against federal law. I’m trying to figure out what the situation is, but am currently not 100% sure.
Secondly, he’s clearly pandering to his base so that he can run in 2012. Preventing women from receiving health care services to please the conservatives he hopes will vote for him? Pathetic. Daniels has stated before that there should be a “truce” on social issues while we get the economy back on track. It’s interesting how quickly he is able to sell out both his constituents and his morals to gain popularity amongst conservative groups.
Thirdly, I don’t know how many times we need to point out that abortions make up 3% of Planned Parenthood’s provided services. The other 97% of what they do includes pap smears, breast exams, cancer screening, std testing, birth control, and more.
This is what they’ll be cutting. Health care. Health care that, despite ‘ole Mitch’s reassurances, will not longer be available to everyone who needs it. Planned Parenthood plays a huge role in the health care system across the U.S. Cutting their funding means knocking down a huge portion of the health industry. Planned Parenthood’s patients can’t just be absorbed into the remaining infrastructure. There isn’t room. And considering the huge chunk of funding that would have to be rejected, there aren’t any funds.
The statement that I find the most chilling is this:
“Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”
Oh, well I guess if it’s that easy. Just stop providing those damned abortions Planned Parenthood and you can receive your precious funding! This sort of coercion is terrifying to see. It’s frightening to watch conservative groups slowly chip away at Roe vs. Wade. I don’t want to see an America where, hey, abortions are legal! But only in the first trimester. And only if you were a victim of rape or incest. And only then if you’re under 18. And only then if it was forcible rape. So really, not incest. And if you didn’t struggle enough for the court’s taste and you dressed like a slut, well you were kind of asking for it anyways so it’s not really forcible…
The ever increasing limitations placed on abortion, and on clinics that provide abortions, are the new fight. Sell-out tools like Mitch Daniels aren’t going to outright ban abortions, they’d love to, but they’re scared that would finally be too extreme for their voters. Instead they’re going to limit the whens, and the wheres, and force you to get sonograms and go to crisis pregnancy centers. By heavily restricting abortion, they’re still destroying our ability to control our own bodies.
So screw you Mitch Daniels. I’d almost feel sorry for your close-minded misogyny if you weren’t trying to hurt the health and bodily autonomy of an entire state of women.
Anyone know for sure whether his actions are legal?
Update: Mitch Daniels signed the bill into law. By cutting funding to Planned Parenthood yet still funding hospitals which provide abortions he is likely violating the constitution and PPIN and the ACLU are currently challenging the law’s constitutionality. There’s an excellent post outlining recent events over at Feministe. You can email Governor Mitch Daniels to explain the importance of family planning in fiscal policy here.