Mitch Daniels apparently has decided he is Republican presidential material. How does one know this? One knows this because he has now abandoned his earlier promise to avoid the culture wars and just work for the good of the people of the state. He has chosen to jump on the latest bandwagon and circus run by the Republican party, this one the brutal frontal attack on the rights of women to health care and free choice, and the effort to eliminate even the minimal health care services available to the poor and lower economic classes.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ (R) “truce” on social issues is now facing its first real test.
Indiana is set to become the first state to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, unless Daniels vetoes the bill sent to him Thursday by the Indiana State Legislature.
The bill would bar the state from entering a contract with any entity that performs abortions (excluding hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers). Planned Parenthood, which operates 28 centers in the state, would lose all public dollars.
It’s a tough line to walk for Daniels, who, as a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, needs to prove his conservative chops. He’s faced heated criticism on the right for calling for a “truce” on social issues and suggesting lawmakers focus on fiscal matters instead.
Daniels, who is firmly anti-abortion, has a week to act on the bill.
Planned Parenthood Of Indiana has said the bill could cost the state $4 million in Medicaid federal family funds. The bill would run afoul of federal law, which prohibits states from picking which providers may offer family planning services to Medicaid patients. According to Planned Parenthood, by violating that law, Indiana may risk losing all federal funds for family planning providers.
The bill would also ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Daniels has how announced that instead he will join the current Republican war against women and the poor by signing a bill passed by the Indiana legislature that will result in stripping federal funds from Planned Parenthood here in Indiana.
The Republican party has chosen this year to launch the final stage in their decades long plan to destroy the economic and social security of all Americans who are not members of the magic 20% of Americans who own 93% of American Wealth, or the Top 1 Percent Who Control 42 Percent of Financial Wealth in the U.S..
Actions by recently elected governors in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio have demonstrated with crystal clarity that the targets of the Republicans now are the unions, women, and the poor. They are doing everything in their power to attack any remaining vestiges of institutions that provide support and power to the working class, like the unions. They have declared that teachers, firefighters, and even the police are the new enemies of the state, as far as the Republicans and the corporate oligarchy are concerned.
And if you are a woman, you have become their target in spades. They clearly will not be satisfied until you are back in the kitchen, barefoot, pregnant, and completely under the thumb of your patriarchal male authority figure again.
Daniels is quoted in the article on TPM:
“I will sign HEA 1210 when it reaches my desk a week or so from now. I supported this bill from the outset, and the recent addition of language guarding against the spending of tax dollars to support abortions creates no reason to alter my position. The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers, as reflected in greater than 2:1 bipartisan votes in both legislative chambers.
“I commissioned a careful review of access to services across the state and can confirm that all non-abortion services, whether family planning or basic women’s health, will remain readily available in every one of our 92 counties. In addition, I have ordered the Family and Social Services Administration to see that Medicaid recipients receive prompt notice of nearby care options. We will take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before.
“Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”
The article goes on to report on the significance and impact, with reaction from Planned Parenthood.
Once he signs the bill, it will go into effect immediately, and would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any public dollars — including Medicaid payments, which are crucial to the group’s patient population.
“We do around 500 pap tests a week,” Indiana Planned Parenthood President Betty Cockrum told TPM in an interview earlier on Friday. “We will be making phone calls to Medicaid patients all over the state and telling them, either you have to pay for that pap test out of pocket, or you need to find someone else who can take you as a Medicaid patient. We can’t do it anymore.”
There are 28 Planned Parenthood centers in the state. Almost 60 percent of patients seen last year were living under the poverty line.
The announcement was met shock by Planned Parenthood in Indiana, who had earlier expressed confidence that Daniels would weigh the bill’s consequences carefully before signing.
“The signing of HB 1210 into law is unconscionable and unspeakable. We will now suffer the consequences of lawmakers who have no regard for fact-based decision making and sound public health policy,” said Cockrum in a statement.
“As many as 22,000 low-income Hoosiers will lose their medical home. Countless patients will find themselves without access to lifesaving tests to avoid the tragic outcomes of cervical and breast cancer and epidemic sexually transmitted disease here in Indiana.”
She said Planned Parenthood would be filing an injunction immediately to try to halt “this alarming erosion of public health policy” in Indiana.
Of course, as usual, the truth means nothing to a Republican anymore. Republican statements about the number of abortions done by Planned Parenthood, and their support of abortion, have been nothing but one fabrication after another. The most infamous recent example of this was Senator John Kyl’s (R-AX) statement on the floor of the Senate that “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” The patent and staggering inaccuracy of this statement was too much for even the mainstream media to bear. The fact is that in reality, just three percent of Planned Parenthood’s work is related to abortion in some manner, and that percentage is not even a representation of actual abortions. The blowback and publicity resulting from Kyl’s outrageous statement led to the now famously absurd statement by his office:
His remark was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, a organization that receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, does subsidize abortions
The press got to be so bad that Kyl was later reported to have had the remark expunged from the official record of the Senate.
One recent study reports that in the past four months, the Republicans have managed to introduce a total of 916 bills targeting women’s reproductive rights.
It’s almost an unbelievable figure — 916. That’s the amount of legislation that has been introduced so far this year, in an attempt to regulate a woman’s reproductive system, and we’re only in April.
This information comes from a report by The Guttmacher Institute, and it finds that 49 states have contributed to this number with various bills geared towards regulating abortions and a woman’s right to choose. The report says that in 15 states, the following measures became law:
- expand the pre-abortion waiting period requirement in South Dakota to make it more onerous than that in any other state, by extending the time from 24 hours to 72 hours and requiring women to obtain counseling from a crisis pregnancy center in the interim;
- expand the abortion counseling requirement in South Dakota to mandate that counseling be provided in-person by the physician who will perform the abortion and that counseling include information published after 1972 on all the risk factors related to abortion complications, even if the data are scientifically flawed;
- require the health departments in Utah and Virginia to develop new regulations governing abortion clinics;
- revise the Utah abortion refusal clause to allow any hospital employee to refuse to “participate in any way” in an abortion;
- limit abortion coverage in all private health plans in Utah, including plans that will be offered in the state’s health exchange; and
- revise the Mississippi sex education law to require all school districts to provide abstinence-only sex education while permitting discussion of contraception only with prior approval from the state.
How nice it would be if the American people would wake up to the threat that the Republican party and leaders like Mitch Daniels represent to the American way of life, and its promise of a job, security, and health, and freedom for ALL Americans; not just the top 20%, or 5%, or 1%. Unfortunately, right now the Republicans appear to have convinced themselves that the final phase of the complete takeover of government by the ruling class is within their grasp, and they are doing any and everything to destroy the last vestiges of resistance, by attacking unions, working class, women, and any attempts to insure that the lower economic classes are encouraged to vote. For decades they have duped members of the lower economic classes by appealing to the most base of instincts, with appeals to racism and classicism, and fear of “The Other”, and their absurd claims of the threats of socialism from the Democratic party. They are a party of buzzwords rooted in ignorance and fear.
They are still playing those cards, but now they have the upped the ante one more full notch with their frontal attack on the unions and women. The questions is, will it finally open the eyes of the majority of Americans?
If you are a woman and consider yourself a Republican, I have to ask you: how do you live with yourself?
Of course I could ask of Mitch Daniels, if you have any sense of ethics, morals, honesty, or common decency, how do you live with yourself?
Signing this bill is nothing more and nothing less than Mitch Daniels jumping on the crazy train for the Republican Presidential Campaign of 2012.
All aboard, Mitch! Now we know the reasoning behind your famous campaign slogan, “My Man Mitch”. Apparently women need not apply.