Tuesday, November 3, 2015

KY Repugs File Bill to Kill Women and Bankrupt the State

As the same bills in Texas and Louisiana have proven. And if you haven't voted yet, be sure this is a bill Jack Conway would veto but Matt Bevin would sign with bells on.
A dozen Republicans in the Kentucky House have pre-filed a bill for the 2016 General Assembly to end state funding for women's health services at Planned Parenthood clinics in Lexington and Louisville, which this fiscal year totaled $331,309.

The bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Lynn Bechler, R-Marion, said he and his colleagues oppose abortion and were upset by disputed undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees in other states discussing the distribution of aborted fetal tissue to researchers. None of Kentucky's Planned Parenthood clinics performs abortions, but the bill would block funding to health clinics that offer abortion "referrals" or "consulting," and the Kentucky clinics do that.


The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services said the money at stake comes from a $5.4 million federal grant for Title X family planning and related health services for low-income or uninsured patients — mostly, but not entirely, women. The state forwards the money to county health departments to cover birth control, pregnancy testing and counseling, examinations for sexually transmitted diseases, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other health care. By federal law, Title X funds cannot pay for abortions.

The health departments in Fayette and Jefferson counties have contracts with local Planned Parenthood clinics to help provide Title X services using the money, said Jill Midkiff, a spokeswoman for the cabinet.

Eliminating funding that pays for women's health services is unfair to the clinics' patients and counterproductive for people who say they oppose abortion, said Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. Last year, the Lexington clinic helped 1,345 patients, and the Louisville clinic helped 3,378, Cockrum said.

"If you unplug birth control for 5,000 patients, it's going to have a big impact. There's no doubt that the rate of abortion is driven by the rate of unintended pregnancies," Cockrum said. "We're very clear that it would be taking public health policy in the wrong direction for the state of Kentucky and its residents."

But stupidity and cruelty in the name of an invisible sky wizard is more important than health care or money wasted on lawsuits.

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