I have had it...again! Today I read that Governor Walker is planning to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. He has already proposed cutting funding to BadgerCare. On top of that, there are federal proposals to cut food stamps and WIC (food AND nutrition education for low-income pregnant women, infants and children). I don't even know where to begin with explaining my outrage!
First, I am trying to give the Governor the benefit of the doubt here, but it is hard to overlook all of the cuts that are affecting women's and children's health. I realize men's health is being affected as well, but many of the cuts are directly related to women's health, pregnancy and the ability to care for children (which affects fathers equally of course). I do not understand how the government can cut family planning and health programs while simultaneously cutting the programs that help those families (who couldn't afford the birth control or didn't have access to the education) care for their unplanned pregnancy. Fine, cut funding for abortions or family planning, but then increase funding to programs that help low-income and/or teenage moms be successful parents. That just makes sense- if you don't want to end life, then support it!
Second, this is not a cost saving. Women that cannot afford prenatal care risk many more birth defects or premature births that could have been avoided with regular checkups and interventions/education. Increasing the number of babies born premature means huge medical costs, even if the babies are completely healthy otherwise. And a lot of premature babies have special needs or require early intervention to catch them up, even if they end up being completely healthy once they catch up. Many premature babies born into poor families never have that luxury. And that doesn't even take into consideration that some of those infants will be born with preventable long-term problems that we will pay for the rest of that human being's life, through the education system, social security, etc.
There are enough things about this world that are tough. Do we need to increase the number of kids that start off with insurmountable struggles? Especially those that, even if completely healthy, are low income, which puts them at a disadvantage in every area of their lives. And really, didn't we already do the whole equality for women thing...do we need a Rosa Parks event to remind people that saying you believe in it and actually believing it are completely different things. Maybe the Governor's motto should be Wisconsin: Making families work harder for less. Or better yet, Wisconsin: Open for businesses that are run by wealthy white males.