Choice News

Friday Femorandum: Increasingly Desperate Measures

After 11 state investigations into Planned Parenthood, seven of which have been completed and found no evidence of wrongdoing, Texas is taking increasingly desperate measures in its intimidation campaign against the health-care provider.

Mother Jones reports that the state’s Health and Human Services Commission has issued a subpoena for the private medical records of Planned Parenthood patients across the state, as well personnel files that include home addresses of Planned Parenthood staffers going back to 2010.

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This politically motivated violation of patient and provider rights comes on the heels of raids by state officials of Planned Parenthood clinics across the state, and just days after Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, announced that the state would no longer provide Medicaid funding to the health-care provider, leaving thousands of Texas women who rely on Planned Parenthood for gynecological and primary care without a health care provider.

In other words, the full force of the nation’s second-largest state has been thrown behind a domestic terrorist movement that uses tactics like intimidation, threats, andclinic vandalism and bombings to take down one of the nation’s largest health care providers for the sole reason that state leaders oppose one of the health care services Planned Parenthood provides. A service that, last I checked, was still legal in this country–even in Texas.

But don’t worry, abortion-rights opponents insist: If they succeed in defunding Planned Parenthood, there still are plenty of health care providers who can easily serve the 2.7 million Planned Parenthood patients who will lose their health care if Republicans in Congress and state legislatures across the nation get their way. Health-care providers such as … Prisons, elementary schools, and homeless shelters. 

RH Reality Check took the time to call some of the “alternative providers” suggested by GetYourCare.org, a site linked to Fundamentalist Christians that purports to offer alternatives to Planned Parenthood for services like birth control, breast exams, and Pap smears. What they found was that Get Your Care’s “providers” included hundreds of elementary, middle, and high-school clinics, as well as jails, nursing homes, and pediatric clinics.

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“School officials, in particular, were confused that they would be asked to provide reproductive and sexual health services to the general population,” RH Reality Check reports. “The GetYourCare site explains that there are over 600 schools listed because they ‘have been identified as providing girls’ and women’s health care services at “school-based health centers” on location. Thus, the school serves as a very real option for girls and young women in the area who need healthcare.’

“In fact, virtually none of the 60 schools RH Reality Check contacted from the list said they provide health care to girls and women in the community.”

Which is shocking to exactly nobody, including the concern trolls at GetYourCare, who probably didn’t expect anyone to actually look at their supposed list of Planned Parenthood “alternatives” too closely.

RH Reality Check also has a smart bit of analysis linking anti-abortion clinic violence to “gendertrolling,” a term that describes the systematic harassment of pro-choice and feminist women online. One link, RHRC’s Katie Klabusich writes, is that “Abortion providers and those affected by gendertrolling also share an unfortunate frustration with law enforcement,” which fails to take their complaints seriously and often show “a discouraging lack of interest” in following up on complaints about harassment and intimidation.

Oh I See

Finally, check out this wonderful BBC piece on the day 90 percent of Iceland’s women went on strike–not just from “real jobs” at their workplaces, but from the “women’ work” of cooking, cleaning, and caregiving that they provide without compensation. The Beeb calls the one-day strike in 1975 a “watershed moment” for women’s emancipation in Iceland, which was followed in five years by the election of the world’s first democratically elected female head of state, a woman who would serve 16 years in the prime minister’s office.

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