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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Should Florida's women just be barefoot and pregnant?


by Robin Marty

Florida Governor Rick Scott has been giving Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a run for the money when it comes to creating fiscal crisis to enable him to enact a right-wing business and social agenda in the state. Scott has finished the year in fine form by adding insult to injury for the women of Florida -- after proposing nearly 20 anti-reproductive health bills and passing a large group, including mandatory ultrasounds before an abortion and slashing family planning funding for the state, Scott is finishing up the work of the anti-women legislators with the help of his veto pen.

The Florida Independent reports:

Gov. Rick Scott yesterday vetoed almost $1.5 million for a handful of community health care clinics in Florida that provide adult and pediatric primary health care services, family planning, immunizations and STD and HIV screening, among other services, to low-income and minority patients.

Scott vetoed $500,000 for the AGAPE Community Health Center in Duval County and another half a million dollars for Apopka Health Center for rural and minority health.

Apopka is a community health center that provides health care to migrant communities in Florida. AGAPE provides a range of women’s health services. Among the many serves listed, the center’s website mentions Pap smears, clinical breast exams, STD testing and treatment, family planning, birth control, pregnancy testing and maternal/prenatal care. Apopka Health Center also lists obstetrical and gynecological care as services it provides.

Together, these two line-item vetoes mean a million dollar loss in preventative care for women in Florida.

Lost among the vetoes? Funding for low income and at risk pregnant women and early childhood health -- the governor chose to eliminate and reduce programs that were set up to help address infant mortality in the state.

But what he left untouched was even more problematic. The governor left intact all funding for state sponsored "crisis pregnancy centers," who's primary function is to talk women who are interested getting abortions out of their choice, claiming they would provide assistance to the women if they will continue their pregnancies.

Cutting programs that prevent pregnancies or assist with prenatal care, and health care for poor women and children, while continuing to fund centers who try to talk women into having babies even if they don't want them, many of which have religious agendas? How can this be seen as anything but trying to force women to have children, then yanking away their resources as soon as they say they will continue their pregnancies?

It's a debate that is happening on the national level and the local levels, and new DNC Chairwoman and Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz is involved in both aspects, condemning the GOP's anti-women stance as an obvious battle in the war on women. And Florida state congresswomen are fighting as well, with one local rep claiming this is all “to make sure that women stay pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen."

With Republican majorities in the House and Senate, and a Republican Governor, Florida is a true example of what would happen to women if Republicans had full control federally. So far we have been lucky enough that nothing the House has proposed has been able to make it through the Senate, and if it did, wouldn't withstand a Presidential veto.

But if it all were under Republican control? Just take a look at Florida to see what that would mean for women.

1 comment:

  1. If every person would just give up sex until they want to procreaate, then there would be no problem. We see how well that works in the real world, but these idealogues don't care about that. I know one of these children who everyone encouraged the mother to have, regardless of birth defects. That one child has cost more in medical costs to the system in one year than all the money Scott vetoed. He will never walk, talk, swallow, see, and requires machines to breathe, but he is alive. His family is wonderful, but no one could ever afford the care the child needs, so we are all paying for it. Of course, with less prenatal care, more of these children will be born, the lucky ones will die at that point.