Listening to right-wing radio often leaves us wondering whether we need to get a rabies vaccine. It’s really that bad. But we monitor those programs so we can shine a light on the frothing, hateful nonsense they promote.
Case in point: today’s “Faith and Freedom” radio program from Liberty Counsel, the Florida-based organization so extreme that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists it as a hate group. Today’s program featured Liberty Counsel’s chairman Mat Staver talking to his colleague Matt Barber about one of their big obsessions: abortion.
Staver and Barber applauded politicians in the Texas Legislature for barring health clinics affiliated with abortion providers from participating in the publicly funded Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program for low-income and uninsured women. As the Dallas Morning News has reported, only providers in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program can enroll women in the Medicaid program that helps fund cancer treatment. And now Planned Parenthood and other clinics affiliated with abortion providers have been barred from participating in that critical screening program.
This is a continuation of the far right’s war on women’s reproductive health care. Four years ago state lawmakers threw away tens of millions of federal dollars by barring Planned Parenthood from participating in the Texas Women’s Health Program even though those dollars weren’t funding abortions.
Staver crowed today about Texas “defunding” Planned Parenthood:
“They should not be receiving state or federal tax dollars for anything that they do.”
Barber claimed that providing funds for cancer screenings to organizations like Planned Parenthood is essentially the same thing as funding abortion. Except that it’s not. Existing law already bars providers from using tax dollars for abortion care. Eliminating funding for one form of health care — such as cancer screenings or family planning services — doesn’t affect the funding stream for other forms of health care, such as abortion services. What it does is further limit or even eliminate health care options for low-income, uninsured women.
Staver and Barber went on to repeat other falsehoods, including the thoroughly debunked myth that abortion causes breast cancer. But maybe their most despicably cynical claim of all was that Planned Parenthood “is not an organization that has any concern for women at all.”
So say hypocritical extremists who are far more interested in promoting a political agenda than in ensuring women get the health care they need. They would rather women die than go to Planned Parenthood, an organization that saves lives by screening for cancer and providing other important health care services.