Cool, right? Here’s reason #(insert unrealistically large, made-up number here) why Planned Parenthood is awesome. They are suing the state of Texas. Yes, one of my favorite organizations is suing my home state. Things are about to get dirty here, and I’ve got a front row seat. Time to get out the popcorn and the picket signs!
Last month I wrote about the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the fate of the Women’s Health Program. Since then, we’ve had some changes. PP has effectively lost funding, and federal money is being phased out of the Women’s Health Program as we speak. True to their promise, Texas government is defunding the one place where most women know they can go for their reproductive health needs. Oh, but Governor Rick Perry swears that the WHP isn’t going anywhere! He says that since the big, mean federal government won’t let him make arbitrary decisions about which organizations are allowed to get federal funding, he’ll just take care of it himself! How, you ask? With state money! See, Texas has tons and tons of extra cash sitting around to make this happen. Oh wait, no we don’t. What we actually have is a big pile of debt. Either way, Perry says that he will use state funds to keep the WHP afloat, minus the baby killers of course. By the way, replacing that funding will cost about $30 million. Pshh, who needs money for education?
Well, Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout Texas have had enough, and are suing the state over the legality of the rule that bars any abortion-affiliated organizations from receiving federal money, even if that money can’t go to abortions (see the Hyde Amendment). The lawsuit seeks to void the rule and restore funding to Planned Parenthood clinics. So far, they’ve only gotten so far as filing the suit. I can’t wait for this show to start, because this is going to be a historical legal battle. I expect that it will be tied up in the system for some time, and I can only hope that funding can at least be restored temporarily while the battle ensues.
The fact that Planned Parenthood actually had the guts to sue fills me with pro-choice pride. At this point, we can usually expect liberals to back down and not bother, and I’m thrilled to see someone standing up to neo-conservative bullies. I find this to be one of the most feminist acts that can be done, this standing up, shouting out, and going to court. It says that not only are we angry about what has happened, we are speaking out about it, and when speaking out didn’t work, we took it to a higher power. Even on a much smaller scale, I believe that lawsuits are, if one can afford them, an invaluable feminist tool. To me it says that not only are you going to refuse to let someone walk over you and your rights, you are willing to tell it to anyone who will listen. Obviously lawsuits are expensive and time consuming, and require a certain amount of privilege to utilize, which is unfortunate. But if you can do it, I say go get ’em. I may hate the system, but I fully support playing the game to fuck it over.