Monday, March 26, 2007

Gov. of MO is Pro Breast Cancer

The culture wars around abortion are continuing to rage. Planned Parenthood, the decided face of abortion for the conservative right, is about to be starved to death out of Missouri. Governor Matt Blunt announced this weekend that he will be cutting off all funding to the state program and redirect it all to specific health clinics.

Here are a couple red flags: First, fewer than one in ten clients who show up at a PP clinic actually come in for an abortion and less than 30% of the 860 clinics actually provide abortions. Second, the PP clinics in Joplin and Springfield don't offer abortions to clients. However, what they do offer are free breast and cervical cancer screenings as part of a state health program. So why in the hell is Matt Blunt shutting them down?

"Patients should not have to go to an abortion clinic to access life-saving tests," Blunt declared. Refusing to fund cancer screening at the clinics, he said, "ensures women may access important preventative care without contributing to abortion providers' goal of facilitating the destruction of innocent life."

I'll let Finley say the rest:
This is how it goes now. Planned Parenthood clinics lose money to help fight cancer because their parent organization has an image problem: Every time they have to step in to defend abortion rights, it reinforces the impression that that is their main mission. This makes them an easier political target, since overwhelming majorities of Americans favor access to contraception: a Wall Street Journal poll last summer found that 81% of Catholics and 75% of born-again Christians favored providing access to birth control as a way to reduce the need for abortion.

Meanwhile the Governor who cuts the funds himself is slapped for compromising on stem cell research — even though some staunch abortion opponents have more textured feelings about where to put up the guardrails around research. One ABC news poll found that only half of all opponents of legal abortion oppose stem cell research. Blunt may want to think twice about playing the politics of guilt by association.

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