Major changes ahead in abortion
Supporters of legal abortion were elated by last week’s election. Pro-choice forces gained 17 seats in the House and five in the Senate – plus, of course, the White House.
What will they do with their new clout?
First up: Press President-elect Barack Obama to reverse a policy of withholding U.S. family-planning grants from any international group that provides abortions, or even counsels women about that option. “We’d like to see that overturned on his first day in office,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Mr. Obama’s transition team has already indicated he shares that priority.
Liberals also expect Mr. Obama to stop federal funding of abstinence-only education and to boost subsidies for poor women’s reproductive health care, including contraception and gynecological exams.
That agenda, if enacted, would likely send more federal funds flowing to Planned Parenthood. Along with being the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood teaches sex ed to teenagers across the country and offers women subsidized health care through a network of nearly 900 clinics.
The prospect of Planned Parenthood getting more taxpayer dollars – at a time when the organization is reporting record revenue – has anti-abortion activists up in arms. . . .