Your 2-Minute Guide To Congress' Attacks On Planned Parenthood And Abortion

It's just not America without Republican congressmen (and, indeed, most of them are men) threatening to shut down the government –– this time, it's over our uteruses. 

There are two major efforts in play right now by Republicans to limit abortion rights, and one of them will be voted on today. Predicted to falter, it's a 20-week abortion ban that would send doctors to JAIL for up to five years for performing abortions past 20 weeks (which, by the way, make up only 1 percent of all abortions). Sure, this bill contains provisions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, but it also requires that a neonatal team be on hand to try to save the newborn's life during the procedure AND that minors who need an abortion due to rape or incest report it to the authorities (because, you know, young girls who have been impregnated by their fathers are always able to safely report their abuse).

In addition to today's vote, which thankfully should soon go down in flames, Republicans have threatened to SHUT DOWN the government over Planned Parenthood funding. Because Planned Parenthood receives government funds in the form of Medicare and Medicaid insurance payments for their services, Republicans have decided that taxpayers are funding abortions. Of course, only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services have anything to do with abortion. The rest of their services, including their cancer prevention, STD screening and treatment, contraceptives, family planning, and so forth are vital and even life-saving for women, particularly lower-income women. 

Despite these facts, Republicans point to highly-edited and largely discredited (and sometimes excerpts that actually don't even exist) videos to justify their attack on Planned Parenthood and, by default, women's health. But, make no mistake, the videos are just another excuse to attack Planned Parenthood.

Even if the government shuts down, it won't stop funding to Planned Parenthood; Medicaid and Medicare payments (which is how Planned Parenthood receives government funds) will continue on autopilot. It's a line in the sand that has absolutely no impact on the organization, yet would impact thousands of federal employees whose paychecks would stop coming. And is akin to a toddler throwing a tantrum.

For now, what you can do to stop the attacks on women's health is hit social media with your abortion story (#shoutyourabortion) and your support for Planned Parenthood (#IstandwithPP) and donate to Planned Parenthood. 

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