Katha Polllitt gives an emphatic “No.” That’s merely the Republican spin, which the media has bought, she holds;
Planned Parenthood gets no federal money for abortion, a procedure which constitutes some 3 percent of their work. None! (Neither, by the way, does the United Nations Population Fund, which Republicans also want to defund. In fact, it has been banned from funding abortions since its founding in the 1970s, and by several bouts of US legislation since.)
The real message should go like this:
Next time, so-called liberal media, try these handy phrases: “Birth control blocks budget agreement.” “Government shut down looms over Pap smears” “Republicans to women: can’t afford cancer screening? Tough luck.”
Salon sort of agrees, but thinks that even more general references to women’s health care suit both sides:
Planned Parenthood is not really going to be responsible for a government shutdown. But it suits both sides to make it seem like Planned Parenthood is a big deal, because then Democrats can claim to have saved it, while Republicans get what they really want, which is the biggest spending cuts possible.
It is profoundly distressing to think the Republicans feel confident that they will not suffer from being presented as against women’s health care. And it could well be right. Voters vote values, many analysts say, and I fear that health care for women is not high on enough people’s list.