Women need, and deserve, unfettered access to high quality healthcare, including preventative, contraceptive and pre-natal care. This is not just a matter of constitutionality and equal rights, but also of basic morality. Women do not deserve to be penalized — medically, economically, or legally — for our womanhood. Yet, efforts to defund one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers of affordable healthcare services for women, as well as men, does just that.
In the wake of a smear campaign against Planned Parenthood — one of the nation’s largest healthcare service providers for women (as well as men and youth) — the Senate voted last night on a bill that would have prohibited federal funds from going to the organization. That bill received 53 yea votes to 46 nay votes, 7 short of the 60 needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster, effectively defeating the proposed measure.
Women’s health advocates can breathe a little bit easier after last night’s defeat of conservative efforts to dismantle a network of clinics that serve over 2.7 million patients nationwide, many of them low- or middle-income women. Although Planned Parenthood is a perpetual target of pro-life hate-mongers, the group actually provides a broad range of reproductive and general healthcare services, including sex education, contraceptive care, and pre-natal care, as well as tests and treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases. Less than 5% of the clinic’s patients arrive seeking abortion services.
Earlier last week, I wrote about a resolution authored by San Francisco Board of Supervisors representative David Chiu prohibiting sex-selective abortion bans. Those bans have been built upon racist, anti-Asian logic to reduce abortion access for all women, and in particular to stigmatize reproductive health for Asian American women. Chiu’s resolution, which would ban sex-selective abortion restrictions in San Francisco and call on other city and state legislators around the country to do the same, was co-authored by fellow Supervisors Jane Kim, Katy Tang, London Breed and Malia Cohen.
Chiu’s resolution (read the full text here) was on the agenda for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ meeting yesterday, and NBC News reports that the resolution was fully endorsed by the board without the need to go to a vote.
That makes San Francisco the first city to ban these racist abortion restrictions, sending a powerful message to the rest of the country.