In a sign that--perhaps, maybe--the extreme right's extremist attacks on the rights and health of women and children may have some limits, the Oklahoma legislature today allowed a bill to die in committee which, if passed, would have denied food vouchers and nutrition services to prenatal and pediatric clients served by Planned Parenthood of Tulsa County.
Huh? Food vouchers and nutrition services? How do they figure?
Read the story. It absolutely nauseating. In their orgy of defunding anything that has to do with abortion and/or Planned Parenthood, Tea Baggers fixed on a program called Women Infants and Children that provides dough for food for at-risk, i.e. poor families. The Baggers then discovered it would have defunded ALL organizations that participate in it.
They wrastled around with language to cut PP out while keeping the rest in.
An editorial in Tulsa World explains (bold mine).
Here's the crux of the matter: In kicking Planned Parenthood out of the WIC program, lawmakers won't be punishing Planned Parenthood. They'll be punishing poor women who chose to have their babies and are trying to take care of them. What kind of sense does that make?
If Planned Parenthood is banned from providing WIC services, then the 9,300 clients of that program currently served by Planned Parenthood will have to try to obtain the nutrition services elsewhere. For a mother of limited means, that could prove an extreme hardship and could mean some will have to drop out of the program.
In Tulsa, Planned Parenthood last year also provided about 5,600 pediatric care appointments and about 3,000 prenatal visits, among other primary health services it provides. Some of those contacts were with the same women and children currently receiving WIC through Planned Parenthood. Why not make their lives a little easier by letting them continue to receive all those services in one place?
Here's why: Because the foes of Planned Parenthood can win political points by saying, "We kicked Planned Parenthood out of WIC." The fact poor mothers and babies would be made to suffer as a result is an inconsequential by-product that doesn't matter to them.
I wouldn't call letting that bill die 'sanity'. I'd call it a step back from gratuitous cruelty.