GOP Prevents Cancer, STD Screening

By Katie Halper

Nothing says “sanctity of life” better than cervical cancer, breast cancer, and HIV! That must be why Republican 2012 hopefuls, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty are supporters of the bill, passed by so-called “pro-life” members of the House of Representatives, to defund Planned Parenthood, a premier women’s healthcare provider for nearly a century, serving 3 million women a year in its 800 centers across the country.

The crusader behind the amendment, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), prides himself on being “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,” promising during his campaign, “ to deliver ... legislation that will prevent abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving a single dime from the federal government.”

The fact that abortion is legal aside, 97% of Planned Parenthood's services are not abortions, but rather cancer screening and prevention, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, contraception and general women's health care, ranging from high blood pressure to urinary tract infections. But Pence apparently didn't get the whole Jesus-healing-the-sick thing — the lepers, the blind, the deaf, the mute, the blood-disease afflicted, the dropsy-sufferers, the hand-withered, etc. (which in all fairness you miss if you blink while reading the Bible, since Jesus's healing appears only 22 times, and only in the Book of Matthew ... and Luke ... and Mark ... and John).

So Pence has decided to throw the unaborted baby out with the healing bath water. The resolution still has to pass the Senate. In order to get the Vote Yes to Life and No to Health! campaign going in the Senate, here are our top 10 names for the amendment.

1. The Anti-Pap-Test Amendment: Planned Parenthood provides nearly one million Pap tests each year.

2. The Pro-HPV Bill: Pap tests screen for HPV (Human papillomavirus), a disease which at least 50% of sexually active men and women get at some point in their lives. Approximately 20 million Americans currently have HPV and another 6 million people become newly infected each year. But this amendment means that even more people would contract the virus and the genital warts it causes!

3. The Pro Life, Pro-Cervical Cancer Bill: Pap tests also screen for, help prevent and lower rates of cervical cancer, which, though highly preventable and treatable, is one of the top 5 killers of women.

4. The Anti-Mammogram Bill: Planned Parenthood also provides 830,000 breast exams and mammograms each year.

5. The Pro-Life, Pro Breast Cancer Bill: These exams screen for breast cancer, which approximately 200,000 women will be diagnosed with and 40,000 women will die from this year. But if this bill passes, we will be able to get those numbers up even higher! As fewer women have access to these life and breast-saving exams, more women will lose their breasts and lives to cancer!

6. The Pro-STD Amendment: Planned Parenthood provides nearly four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. If the Pro-STD Amendment passes, imagine how many more people will not only have untreated STDs, but will unknowingly spread them to other people! With HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes and more, the possibilities are infinite!

7. The Pro-Unplanned Pregnancy Bill: Planned Parenthood services help prevent more than 612,000 unintended pregnancies each year. But if the Pro-Unplanned Pregnancy Bill passes, there could be 612,000 more unplanned or unwanted pregnancies and countless more women without access to contraceptives, resources and education.

8. The Anti-Fertility Bill: Just as Planned Parenthood helps women avoid unplanned pregnancies, it helps those who want to be pregnant get pregnant with male and female infertility tests, resources and information. But if the Anti-Fertility Bill passes, who knows how many hopeful would-be parents will be hopeless and child-less!

9. The anti-general Healthcare Bill: Planned Parenthood also provides general health care, such as anemia testing, cholesterol screening, diabetes screening, physical exams, flu vaccines, help with quitting smoking, high blood pressure screening, tetanus vaccines, and thyroid screening. This amendment would increase rates of disease and even death for countless women! In all fairness, at least the Republicans are consistent in their anti-health care stance.

10. The Pro-UTI Bill: Planned Parenthood tests and treats UTIs or Urinary Tract Infections, which 1 of 5 women have at least once, and consist of burning pain during urination, an urge to urinate when your bladder is nearly empty, feeling like you need to urinate all the time, difficulty controlling when you urinate, lower abdominal pain or back pain, and blood and/or pus in your urine! This amendment would mean more pain and more pus! What could be better?

Katie Halper co-founded the political comedy group Laughing Liberally in New York City’s Upper West Side. See

From The Progressive Populist, June 1, 2011

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