Kristof: Republican attack on family planning means more abortions | Arkansas Blog

Kristof: Republican attack on family planning means more abortions

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AND THAT'S NOT ALL: Some in Congress went to end funding entirely. - USA TODAY
  • USA TODAY
  • AND THAT'S NOT ALL: Some in Congress went to end funding entirely.
Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times sends a message worth telling to your favorite Republican congressman, not that it will likely alter his — and they are all hims in Arkansas — thinking.

House Republicans want to kill Title X, the federally financed family planning program. Support has been dwindling over the years. The Republican Senate doesn't want to kill it, only reduce it still further.

It’s baffling that House Republicans are trying to eliminate a 45-year-old bipartisan initiative that is one of the country’s anti-poverty successes — and also perhaps America’s most successful anti-abortion initiative.

Title X began in a Republican administration, that of Richard Nixon. Today, 4,100 clinics supported by Title X provide family planning and also often test for H.I.V., cure sexually transmitted infections and screen for cervical and breast cancer.

Some of these clinics are operated by Planned Parenthood, of course, and that's a rub for Republicans. But hold on, Kristof says:

To those offended by the Planned Parenthood videos, if you’re infuriated by abortion, you should be channeling more money to Title X, not less.

.... This in a country where half of all pregnancies are unintended, where 30 percent of American teenage girls become pregnant by age 19.

The Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health, calculates that Title X family planning centers prevent about one million unintended pregnancies a year, of which 345,000 would have ended in abortion. It says that every year Title X clinics avert some 53,000 cases of chlamydia and 8,800 cases of gonorrhea, and save the lives of 1,100 women who would otherwise die of cervical cancer.

In other words, Title X prevents an abortion about once every 90 seconds.

But here's the thing: Many Republicans oppose birth control. No good deed should go unpunished.

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