# Contraception

Contraception is also health care

Shawna Anderson: Birth control pills may have saved my life and also helped me to conceive.

When the U.S. House approved a bill in July to protect Americans’ access to birth control, 195 Republicans voted no. Those House members, including Iowa’s Representatives Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Randy Feenstra, opposed codifying not only my right to access family planning, but also my health care.

As a 43-year-old married mother of two and grandmother, I never thought I would see the day that I needed to defend access to any reproductive care, but here we are. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned what I grew up hearing was the law of the land, Democrats are trying to ensure that people like me will have access to the health care we need.

A friend once told me we should call birth control hormone therapy, because that’s really what it is. Not only does it aid in family planning, but it can treat some medical issues. Let me tell you how birth control/hormone therapy may have saved my life and helped me to conceive.

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Joni Ernst leads Senate opposition to contraception rights bill

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst has blocked a Democratic bill that would provide a federal guarantee of contraception rights.

Democrats sought to pass the bill, which cleared the U.S. House mostly along party lines, via unanimous consent during Senate floor debate on July 27.

Ernst rose to object and advocated for a measure that would speed up an over-the-counter designation for oral contraception pills. The bill is a companion to a bill that U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson introduced in the House last week. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Senator Chuck Grassley are co-sponsoring the measure.

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Iowa media help Hinson, Miller-Meeks hide the ball on birth control access

All three U.S. House Republicans from Iowa voted this week against a bill that would provide a federal guarantee of access to contraception.

But if Iowans encounter any mainstream news coverage of the issue, they may come away with the mistaken impression that GOP Representatives Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks took a stand for contraception access.

The episode illustrates an ongoing problem in the Iowa media landscape: members of Congress have great influence over how their work is covered.

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Teen births drop nationwide and in Iowa

The U.S. teen birth rate reached “a historic low in 2010,” according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control this week. Iowa was among 47 states where the birth rate for teenagers fell significantly from 2007 to 2010, and Iowa’s rate of 28.6 births per 1,000 teenagers was ranked 34th nationwide. More details are after the jump.

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Grassley, Harkin split as Senate tables repeal of birth-control mandate

The U.S. Senate voted today to table Republican Senator Roy Blunt’s amendment to repeal a federal regulation on birth-control coverage in employer-provided health care insurance. Iowa’s senators split on party lines.

UPDATE: Added a statement from Tom Harkin below. He argues that the Blunt amendment goes way beyond coverage of contraception and other preventive health services.

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Events coming up this weekend and next week

Next Friday is “funnel” day at the Iowa legislature; with a few exceptions, all bills that haven’t been approved by at least one committee by March 4 are dead for the 2011 session. The coming week is therefore a particularly important time to contact your legislators about issues important to you. I believe lawmakers find phone calls more difficult to ignore than letters and e-mails, but by all means make contact in writing if that’s how you prefer to communicate. While contacts from their own constituents are the most meaningful, lawmakers often pay attention to contacts they receive from Iowans outside their districts too.

Iowa House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer used to lobby for the Iowa Nurses Association before she was elected to the legislature in 2002. A few years ago she wrote up some helpful hints for persuading lawmakers, which I posted here.

Details on a few lobby days and many other events are after the jump. As always, please post a comment or send me an e-mail to let me know about something going on that should be on this calendar.  

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Next phase begins in battle over Iowa spending cuts

The Iowa House approved a major “deappropriations” bill, House File 45, on January 19 by a party-line vote of 60 to 40. Republican leaders fast-tracked what they call the Taxpayers First Act, which passed the House Appropriations Committee on the third day of the 2011 session. The bill would cut dozens of programs while increasing spending in a few areas. In addition, $327.4 million from this year’s surplus revenue would go into a new “Tax Relief Fund,” instead of being used to help close the projected budget gap for fiscal year 2012. This bill summary (pdf) lists the budget cuts and supplemental appropriations in House File 45. Click here for the full bill text.

Although the majority of speakers at a January 18 public hearing opposed the bill, and organizations lobbying against the bill outnumber those that have signed on in support, the House Republicans passed the bill with few significant changes. Democrats offered many amendments as floor debate went late into the evening on January 19, trying to save funds for the statewide voluntary preschool program, passenger rail, smoking cessation programs, and sustainable communities, among other things. Representatives rejected almost all those amendments on party-line votes. This page shows what amendments were filed, and the House Journal for January 19 contains the roll call votes.

House File 45 now moves to the Iowa Senate, which has a 26-24 Democratic majority. Democratic senators are likely to back increased expenditures for mental health services and indigent defense while opposing many of the spending cuts. After the jump I take a closer look at some of the most controversial provisions in House File 45.

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New abortion restrictions could stall in the Iowa House

Iowa Republicans vowed late last year to pass new abortion restrictions modeled on a Nebraska statute which in effect bans the procedure after the 20th week of gestation. Abortions are already illegal in Iowa after the sixth month of pregnancy except if a doctor believes the procedure could “preserve the life or health” of the pregnant woman. The new bill, House File 5, asserts that an “unborn child” can experience pain after the 20th week of gestation and bans abortions after that time unless “The pregnant woman has a condition which the physician deems a medical emergency” or “It is necessary to preserve the life of the unborn child.”

Very few abortions are performed in Iowa after the 20th week of pregnancy. In 2006 just nine out of more than 6,700 abortions occurred at the 21th week of gestation or later. Of the 5,829 abortions performed in Iowa in 2009, only six were induced after the 20th week. However, Republicans want to prevent Dr. LeRoy Carhart from opening a clinic in Council Bluffs to serve women seeking abortions after 20 weeks. Carhart had worked with Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas for more than a decade but moved to Omaha after Tiller’s assassination in 2009. The new Nebraska law prompted Carhart to close his Omaha clinic. Last month he began working at a Maryland clinic.

Iowa House Republican leaders have expressed confidence about passing new abortion restrictions. They have a 60 to 40 majority with no pro-choice members of their caucus. I believe this legislation could pass the Iowa Senate, because unlike the 1980s and 1990s, there are no longer any pro-choice Republicans to cancel out the votes of Democrats supporting more restrictions on reproductive rights. Governor Terry Branstad would be eager to sign any anti-choice bill.

However, Craig Robinson reported yesterday that House File 5 lacks the votes to clear the Iowa House Human Resources Committee. Two of the most conservative first-term GOP legislators, Kim Pearson and Glen Massie, serve on that committee and oppose the bill, presumably because it would not go far enough to restrict abortions. Without their support, Republicans can count on only 10 votes in the 21-member committee. According to Robinson, Iowa Right to Life, the Iowa Catholic Conference, and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition all support House File 5. But the FAMiLY LEADER organization led by Bob Vander Plaats and others from the Iowa Family Policy Center oppose the bill.

Pearson and Massie will face tremendous pressure to change their position. I wouldn’t be surprised if they vote for House File 5 after all. But if they resist carrots or sticks Republican leaders wave at them, the bill could be dead for the 2011 session.

Speaking of reproductive rights, no one in the House Republican caucus seems to realize that the family planning spending cuts in House File 45, which passed the chamber on January 19, would likely increase the number of early abortions performed in Iowa. It’s sadly typical for anti-choice politicians to oppose effective means to prevent unintended pregnancies.

UPDATE: The Des Moines Register’s Jason Clayworth posted a good rundown on the GOP split over this bill.

Weekend open thread: Dumb ideas edition

In case you hadn’t noticed that President Barack Obama named the wrong people to his debt commission, check out the commission’s preliminary recommendations, an idiotic blend of Social Security cuts and tax increases for most Americans. The cuts would cover the cost of deeper tax cuts for high earners, as if the top 1 percent in the U.S. need any more help. Congress would never pass this package as-is, but it was probably leaked to make the final horrible recommendations look reasonable by comparison. The best thing Obama could do is dissolve this commission. It only puts bipartisan window-dressing on right-wing ideas.

Speaking of Washington Republicans, the incoming House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, recently assured the Israeli prime minister that Congressional Republicans will be a “check” on the Obama administration and that “the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States.” Imagine if a Democratic Congressional leader had promised a foreign prime minister to stand up for that country against the Bush administration if necessary.

When Congress reconvenes next week, members will consider budget bills for fiscal year 2011. Incredibly, the Senate seems poised to reduce funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), even though poverty rates are up because of the recession and high unemployment rate. Helping families pay their heating bills keeps people from freezing in the winter, or burning their house down by using unsafe portable heaters. It also is stimulative, because it cash that qualifying families don’t have to spend on utility bills is cash they will spend on goods and services. The LIHEAP Action Center calculates that if the Senate doesn’t approve the higher level of funding passed by the House, Iowa’s share of LIHEAP funding stands to drop from $75 million in fiscal year 2010 to $36.8 million in the coming year.

Speaking of unwise budget cuts, Governor-elect Terry Branstad and the Republicans in the state legislature want to eliminate public funding for family planning services. That will please the GOP base but doesn’t make fiscal sense:

The results of the study by the University of Iowa Public Policy Center show that publicly funded family planning services are cost-effective for women who would use Medicaid and other public assistance programs if they became pregnant and gave birth.

“With the prevention of an unintended pregnancy, a significant amount of future public funding expenditure can be avoided,” said lead researcher Belinda Udeh, assistant research scientist at the Public Policy Center.

The study focused on women being served by Iowa’s publicly funded family planning clinics in 2009. Study co-authors were Mary Losch of the Center for Social and Behavioral Research and the Department of Psychology at the University of Northern Iowa and Erica Spies, a UI graduate research assistant.

The study based on data collected in 2009 also concluded that publicly funded family planning is most cost-effective for women under the age of 30. When considering forecasting the avoided expenditures for just one year for this age group, over $3 could be saved for every $1 spent on family planning services, Udeh said. The probability of averting a pregnancy need only be 2 percent for this age category for family planning services to be considered cost effective, she added.

The study further reported an overall weighted average for all age categories.  For women already receiving assistance, $3.40 could be avoided in the first year for every $1 spent on family planning services, and $10.84 when the savings are forecast for five years. The savings are even greater for women who would be newly eligible for assistance with savings of $3.78 and $15.12 for every $1 spent on family planning in one-year and five-year forecasts, respectively.

Taxpayers get excellent value for money spent on family planning services. Can’t say the same for the absurd amount we spend on salaries for the head football coach and his assistants at the University of Iowa.

This is an open thread. What’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers?

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CDC birth control guidelines could reduce breastfeeding

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine warns that recently updated “birth control guidelines released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could undermine mothers who want to breastfeed,” I learned from the ByMomsForMoms blog, sponsored by Lansinoh. From the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s news release:

“The new guidelines ignore basic facts about how breastfeeding works,” says Dr. Gerald Calnen, President of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM). “Mothers start making milk due to the natural fall in progesterone after birth. An injection of artificial progesterone could completely derail this process.”

The CDC report, “U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010,” released in the May 28 issue of Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), contains important changes in what constitutes acceptable contraceptive use by breastfeeding women. The criteria advise that by 1 month postpartum the benefits of progesterone contraception (in the form of progestin-only pills, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DPMA) injection, or implants), as well as the use of combined (progestin-estrogen) oral contraceptives outweigh the risk of reducing breastfeeding rates. Previously, progesterone birth control was not recommended for nursing mothers until at least 6 weeks after giving birth, and combined hormonal methods were not recommended before 6 months.

Based on clinical experience, breastfeeding support providers report a negative impact on breastfeeding when contraceptive methods are introduced too early. One preliminary study demonstrated dramatically lower breastfeeding rates at 6 months among mothers who underwent early insertion of progesterone-containing IUDs, compared with breastfeeding rates of mothers who underwent insertion at 6-8 weeks postpartum.

I have met women whose milk supply collapsed after they received a progesterone shot. One acquaintance had successfully nursed previous babies and was never informed by her health care provider that a birth control shot could impede her ability to produce enough milk for her infant.

It’s illogical for the CDC to give its blessing to early postpartum use of hormonal birth control when the federal government has supposedly been trying to promote breastfeeding for more than a decade. Earlier this year, the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity set a goal of having half of U.S. babies breastfed for at least nine months by 2015, and recommended a number of specific policies to help reach that goal. But breastfeeding without a full milk supply is quite difficult no matter how educated the mother is or how supportive her environment. I hope the CDC will revise its guidelines and recommend non-hormonal forms of birth control for women in the early months of breastfeeding.  

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No-brainer: Planned Parenthood PAC endorses Culver

To no one’s surprise, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s political arm, called the Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa PAC, endorsed Governor Chet Culver’s re-election bid today. Planned Parenthood’s PAC (at that time called the Freedom Fund) supported Culver during the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary and in that year’s general election against Jim Nussle, and the PAC’s statement issued today explains the decision to back him again:

“Governor Chet Culver has done more to reduce the need for abortion and increase access for women’s health care than his opponent ever will,” said Jill June, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. “During the primary debates, Terry Branstad has made it clear that he would cut basic health care services to more than 50,000 Iowan women by choosing to cut Planned Parenthood as a service provider.”

PAC chair Phyllis Peters cited Governor Culver’s record. “Governor Culver has strongly supported the health care needs of women in many different ways. He has supported vaccine coverage for the HPV vaccine, the only vaccine to prevent cervical cancer; funded the state match to the Medicaid Family Planning Waiver to provide contraception to low income women; supported medically accurate sexuality education in our schools; and supported extending the age a woman can qualify for family planning services. Women in Iowa can count on Governor Culver to listen, understand and respond to the very real health needs of women.”

In the primary campaign candidate Terry Branstad indicated that he would support an Iowa law similar to one just passed in Oklahoma, which would require an invasive sonogram for women who seek abortions. Unlike sonograms currently used in Iowa, this would require a sonogram where a probe is inserted in the woman to show the image of the fetus, even for victims of rape and incest.

“Terry Branstad believes in using intimidation tactics to prevent women from their legal rights. That’s not what Iowan’s believe or want in our state,” said Jill June. “The Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa PAC is speaking out against these tactics of discrimination and intimidation, as we show our support for Governor Culver.”

Branstad generally avoids mentioning Planned Parenthood by name, but this spring he repeatedly said Iowa “should not provide funding for organizations that provide abortion services.” That wording left the misleading impression that state funding pays for abortions, but no government money pays for any abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics. Most of the state funding to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland covers contraception and is matched on a 9:1 basis by the federal government through the Medicaid family planning program. (That is, every dollar from the state budget is matched by $9 from Medicaid.)

It’s outrageous that Branstad, the former president of a medical school, would support an Oklahoma abortion law that lets the government dictate how some doctors should care for their patients and even how they should talk to their patients. So much for government not getting between you and your doctor.

Culver slammed the Oklahoma approach in this statement his campaign released today:

“I am so pleased to receive the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa PAC. I’ve worked very hard in my first term to maintain and improve family planning and women’s rights in the state of Iowa and I am proud to have their support in this election.  By contrast, Terry Branstad doesn’t trust the women of Iowa to make their own health care decisions.

“What’s ironic is that the women and men of Iowa cannot trust Branstad on health care. When he was at Des Moines University, he supported mandates. When he was campaigning  in the Republican primary, he opposed mandates. Iowans can only guess as to his position tomorrow. What is clear is that he thinks requirements such as allowing adult children to continue to be insured on their parents’ policy or prohibiting people from being denied insurance for pre-existing conditions is too intrusive but forcing victims to have invasive procedures is all right.

“Branstad even campaigned on enacting a law similar to the one passed in Oklahoma. The law requires a woman to have an invasive and expensive sonogram, for no medical reason, prior to receiving some services, forcing women who are victims of rape or incest to re-live these horrifying violent crimes. Well, I believe that is wrong.

“Terry Branstad is out of touch on this issue. He even refused to comment on the endorsement today because he knows that he’s on the wrong side of women’s issues.

“I have worked hard to invest in a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health care and I will continue that investment.”

Click here for background on Branstad’s inconsistent stand regarding a proposed individual mandate to purchase health insurance.

No doubt we’ll hear more this fall about Branstad opposing reproductive rights, because it fits Culver’s message about Branstad pushing failed ideas of the past.

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Don't believe everything Republicans tell you about spending cuts

Yesterday the Iowa House State Government Committee voted down a Republican plan to cut state spending by $290 million in the coming year. State Representative and gubernatorial candidate Chris Rants offered the plan as an amendment to the government reorganization bill. He said his party was trying to “work in a bipartisan way” and make “tough decisions” to balance the budget for the coming year. All twelve Democrats on the House State Government Committee voted against the GOP amendment, while the nine Republicans voted for it. Later the same day, the committee approved the reorganization bill on a 20-1 vote, with only Rants opposed.

We are sure to hear more from Rants and other Republicans about how big, bad Democrats rejected their good ideas for spending cuts. A closer look reveals funny math in the Republican “plan.”

The biggest line item is “$92.3 million, end all state benefits to adult illegal immigrants.” The Iowa House Republican caucus claims this number comes from the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency. The implication is that the state of Iowa hands out $92.3 million in cash to illegal immigrants.

But that’s not the case. From a report by the Legislative Services Agency on “Undocumented Immigrants’ Cost to the State” (pdf file):

The only government services that illegal immigrants are eligible for are elementary and secondary public education and emergency health care.1 Most citizens do not gain direct benefits from a majority of government spending. Instead, government programs are intended to benefit society as a whole through maintenance of a healthy economy, satisfying public health and safety concerns, providing basic infrastructure, etc. Although undocumented immigrants do not receive most direct benefits, the total benefit of State spending is assumed to accrue to undocumented immigrants at the same rate as legal residents.

The LSA divides total spending from the state general fund by the state’s total population to calculate roughly how much in “benefits” each Iowa resident receives annually. This isn’t a cash payment from the state to residents; it represents each individual’s share of benefit from the state paying for schools, roads, and so on.

Iowa House Republicans arrived at the $92.3 million figure by dividing total general fund expenditures by the number of undocumented immigrants currently estimated to be living in Iowa. They call the remainder “benefits” that illegal immigrants receive. But there’s no magic wand we can wave to make immigrants stop benefiting indirectly from what state government does. The same LSA report noted:

Undocumented immigrants qualify for few services at the State level, and those for which they do qualify are largely mandated by federal law or the Courts. Therefore, decreasing undocumented immigrant eligibility for State spending does not appear to be a viable policy option. Additionally, if the assumption that undocumented immigrants accrue benefits even without receiving direct services is considered valid, attempting to reduce direct State expenditures on undocumented immigrants would have a minimal effect.

By the way, proof of citizenship and identification are already required for Iowans participating in Medicaid and HAWK-I (the children’s health insurance program).

Scoring points against undocumented immigrants may be good for Rants politically, but that won’t help the state of Iowa save $92.3 million in the coming year. That one item represents nearly a third of the Republican-proposed spending cuts.

I’ve posted the full list of cuts after the jump. Some ideas may have merit, but most of them reflect skewed Republican priorities for state government. GOP legislators want to save $45 million by reducing access to pre-school for four-year-olds. They also want to invest less in renewable energy production and energy efficiency measures by eliminating the Power Fund and the Office of Energy Independence, which would $25 million. Many Republicans never liked the core curriculum, so it’s no surprise they’d like to save some money by delaying its implications. The Des Moines Register’s Iowa poll in November indicated that Iowans support higher spending on renewable energy research and development and are divided over whether to cut funds for expanded free pre-school.

Some of the smaller Republican-backed cuts would please conservative interests. The religious right would love to eliminate the family planning waiver. Rants has always been a good friend to tobacco companies, who would love to see the state scrap the “Just Eliminate Lies” anti-smoking campaign. There’s also $4 million saved by cutting “taxpayer-funded lobbyists,” which sounds great until you realize that would leave corporate groups unchallenged as they lobby for bills that might counter the public interest. Anyway, last year taxpayer money for lobbying totaled about $1.8 million, and a lot of that didn’t come from the state general fund. Municipalities, county agencies and associations like the League of Cities hire lobbyists too.

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Obama's concessions on the stimulus bill make no sense (updated)

Just as I’d feared, President Barack Obama is moving toward the Republican position in an effort to pass a “bipartisan” economic stimulus bill.

At the request of the president, the overall price tag will be in the $800 billion range, even though many economists believe we need at least $1 trillion to kick-start the economy.

Also, House Democrats were under pressure to reduce planned spending on mass transit and other infrastructure projects to make room for tax cuts to appease Republicans–even though the tax cut provisions are unlikely to create the jobs we need.

Yesterday Obama personally urged Democrats to remove contraception funding for poor women from the stimulus bill in order to appease Republican critics.

Trouble is, the top two House Republicans have already told their caucus to vote against the stimulus bill when it comes to the floor.

Today Obama met privately with Republican Congressional leaders to discuss the stimulus further. As you’d expect, Republicans keep finding things to complain about, like a few billion dollars for “neighborhood stabilization activities.”

How many more times will the president cave to GOP demands before he realizes that Republicans have already decided to vote against the bill?

He doesn’t need Republican votes to pass this bill.

No matter how many concessions he makes, he won’t get a significant number of Republican votes in favor of the bill.

All he’ll get is a watered-down stimulus bill and a talking point that he tried to work with the other side. Republicans will get the political credit for opposing the stimulus if it turns out to be ineffective.

Obama should stop worrying about bipartisanship and work toward getting Congress to pass the best bill for fixing the economy.

I’m with New York Times columnist Bob Herbert:

When the G.O.P. talks, nobody should listen. Republicans have argued, with the collaboration of much of the media, that they could radically cut taxes while simultaneously balancing the federal budget, when, in fact, big income-tax cuts inevitably lead to big budget deficits. We listened to the G.O.P. and what do we have now? A trillion-dollar-plus deficit and an economy in shambles.

This is the party that preached fiscal discipline and then cut taxes in time of war. This is the party that still wants to put the torch to Social Security and Medicare. This is a party that, given a choice between Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, would choose Ronald Reagan in a heartbeat.

Why is anyone still listening?

Instead of wasting time meeting with Republicans who are not negotiating with him in good faith, Obama could try to get his Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on board with the administration’s alleged “no lobbyist” policy.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that last week Obama agreed to delay bankruptcy reform in a fruitless effort to bring over Republicans on the stimulus bill:

Many Democrats, including Obama, have long-supported the strategy of empowering bankruptcy judges to alter the terms of primary mortgages to prevent foreclosures. But White House officials have said they don’t want the bankruptcy provision in the stimulus bill for fear of alienating Republicans, most of whom oppose the change.

Obama should worry more about the substance of legislation and less about whether he can claim a victory for bipartisanship.

SECOND UPDATE: TomP sees the glass half full, arguing that Obama is not compromising further on “core values.”

THIRD UPDATE: As usual, Natasha Chart says it very well:

Some Democrats have fallen prey to the delusion that politics is a gentlemen’s parlor game in which they’re being judged on style, as opposed to a set of deadly serious struggles in which they’re being judged on their results.

It’s a stupid belief that will lead its holders to no good end in the future, just as it has not in the past.

Though likely, long before they suffer any consequence for their foolishness, some young family with crappy jobs, a child or children that they can barely feed already, and no insurance is going to find themselves in a jam this year that these bozos could prevent by funding family planning for low-income households.

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Culver rejects funds restricted to abstinence-only sex ed

I didn’t see this in the news, but just got an e-mail from the Iowa Planned Parenthood Action Network:

Thank You Governor Culver!

Dear [desmoinesdem],

Governor Culver recently announced that he will be “turning back” Federal funds that are restricted for “abstinence only” sexual and reproductive health education.

This action is a rejection of “abstinence only” in favor of comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education which includes abstinence.

Comprehensive sex education also includes birth control, sexually transmitted infections and other good sexual health practices that “abstinence only” neglects.  

Governor Culver’s rejection of the funds comes from the fact that “abstinence only” programs DO NOT WORK because they leave out information about what to do once you are sexually active.

Help us congratulate Governor Culver on his bold and strong leadership on returning Federal “abstinence only” funds!

Good for him. Taking the money would have been the politically easy route. Instead, he showed leadership on this issue.

If you want to sign up for Planned Parenthood action alerts, go here:


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