Freethought Today · January/February 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

FFRF stands with Planned Parenthood

Congress must cease its relentless assault on Planned Parenthood.

For the umpteenth time, the GOP-controlled Congress has threatened to cut off reimbursement funds for the organization, this time as part of a larger plan to repeal Obamacare. House Speaker Paul Ryan recently announced Republicans will move to strip all federal funding for Planned Parenthood. This could cost the organization hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue, and it's a highly unscrupulous ploy.

This must be emphasized: Planned Parenthood does not receive any direct funding from the federal government. It does get reimbursed for family planning services, which do not include abortion (except in narrow instances).

But that hasn't stopped the attacks on Planned Parenthood from members of the Religious Right and their elected representatives — attacks based on deception and misinformation. In reality, theocrats are seeking to not just deny low-income women access to abortion on religious grounds, but also access to contraception.

"Planned Parenthood has been a political target for years," NPR reports. "But recently, the partisan polarization has gone beyond abortion rights and into any federal funds going to the organization."

The primary organized opposition to reproductive rights in this country always has been religion, as FFRF co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor has repeatedly emphasized. Virtually every vocal opponent of contraception and abortion argues against these rights on the basis of God and the bible. In fact, the Freedom From Religion Foundation came into existence in good part because of the organized religious opposition to abortion rights. It is what opened the eyes of FFRF principal founder Anne Nicol Gaylor to the dangers of dogma being enshrined in our laws.

The causes of freethought, women's rights and family planning are all inextricably linked.

"No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body," freethinker and contraceptive rights crusader Margaret Sanger stated. "No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother."

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has vowed to offer full resistance to the anti-Planned Parenthood onslaught. "Not without one hell of a fight, they aren't," she recently tweeted a response to the defunding efforts.

FFRF stands in full solidarity with Planned Parenthood.

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